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Tips for Effective Communication

1. Be an Engaged Online Student

Your professors are here to inform, support, guide, mentor, develop and challenge you throughout your program. When you receive instructor feedback, understand that it is provided solely for your benefit and learning. Remember that defensive students are not teachable, and this poses a challenge for faculty who strive to create engaging learning environments.

Ask yourself:

  1. Am I teachable?
  2. Am I willing and ready to learn?
  3. Am I willing to accept feedback, recommendations, and correction?
  4. Am I willing to make any necessary changes to ensure my academic success?

The answers to these questions will reveal your academic readiness. If you can’t answer “yes” to every question above, your professors cannot provide mentoring, coaching and encouragement. Having these open and honest conversations can go a long way in building trust, rapport, and mutual understanding.

2. Ask Your Professor Questions

When you have questions about any aspect of your online courses, I encourage you to contact your professors sooner rather than later. While I understand it can sometimes feel a bit intimidating to email or call an instructor, Flagler faculty members welcome questions and appreciate students who take a proactive approach to their studies. We want to hear from you!

3. Be Open to Phone Communication

Remember, too, that while email is a convenient mode of online communication, telephone and Skype calls offer opportunities for more personal and efficient interaction. Call your professors when you need more detailed clarification or guidance.

4. Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Clarification

Should you ever have concerns about grades or feedback, contact your online instructor right away. Don’t allow emotions or misunderstandings to fester; prompt communication will almost always resolve potential issues. Remember, faculty are here to help and support you; your success is our top priority.

Remember that your professors are accessible, approachable and eager to communicate with you. Your rich experiences, backgrounds, and contributions add tremendous value to every classroom. As online faculty, we enjoy and appreciate the opportunity to learn from our students just as our students learn from us. It is this collaborative, “think tank” approach to education that makes Flagler College unique, inclusive and innovative.

Credit: Purdue University