Motivational Minute: Reach out to your Instructor

Unlike an on-campus course, students in an online course may complete the entire course without any interaction with their instructor and student must establish a virtual relationship with instructors.  Students may be a bit unsure about how to navigate this new virtual student-instructor relationship and may hesitate to email an instructor when the need arises. Instructors can offer students unparalleled guidance on the course policies, assistance with course content, and course-specific resources.  Here are some things to consider when reaching out to your instructor: things there is a delay in response time, and some students find verbal communication much easier.

Establish communication early. Reach out to your instructor at the start of the course and introduce yourself. You can locate your instructor’s contact information in your course Blackboard and in NOVA’s online faculty directory here.

Be thorough in your  communications. Because there can be a delay in response time when emailing and calling instructors (instructors have up to 2 business to respond to students), the process of getting assistance can be prolonged by asking multiple questions multiple times. To avoid this, be sure to include all the information you need in your initial contact with the instructor and ask your questions clearly and concisely.

Keep records of your interaction. Using written forms of communication with your professor can serve as a great reference to return to for future use. It’s always good to establish the habit of having a hard copy of all email communications in school and in your professional life.

Facilitate respectful communication with your instructor. Try to facilitate a dialogue of mutual respect and avoid using abrasive, accusatory, or otherwise aggressive language in all communications with instructors. Review tips on emailing your instructor for more tips!

Distance learning doesn’t have to be marked by a distance between professors and students. Reach out to your instructors, they’re here for you! Namaste.

Jennifer, NOVA Online Success Coach

NOVA Online Success Coach Team 703-764-5076 and