After Reading This Page, Do the Following:
- Write down your instructor’s contact information for each class you are enrolled in. (5 minutes per class)
Every online class has an instructor who is available to:
- Answer your questions about the course.
- Grade your assignments.
- Help you succeed in the course.
How Do I Contact My Instructor?
The instructor's contact information can be found in your course syllabus. Make a note of your instructor's email address so you have it in case you need to reach out to him or her.
When Should I Contact My Instructor?
Contact your instructor whenever you need to — there is no such thing as a dumb question, and it's likely other students have the same question too! Remember, your instructor is there to help you succeed in the course, reach out to her or him if you need help:
- Understanding a difficult concept that you encounter in the materials.
- Identifying the next task to complete in the course.
- Locating information or places to submit your work on the eCampus.
- Completing an assignment because you're not sure what to do.
- Catching up if you fall behind.
- Requesting an extension. (Remember that not all instructors will grant extensions; please refer to the course syllabus for any information regarding requests for extensions.)
Reaching Out To Your Instructor
Subject line: Include your course number, section and reason for reaching out (for example, PSYC-2301-53240: Help with Assignment 3).
Be courteous: Begin your email with a greeting that addresses your instructor politely, such as "Dear Mr. Smith" or "Hi Dr. Jones."
Provide detail: Be specific about why you are reaching out and what you are having problems with. For example, “in section 6.1.2 Neurons, I’m not clear on…” or “on part 2 of assignment 4, you ask us to compare and contrast two examples. Do both of those examples need to come from the chapter we read this week, or can I choose an example from chapter 2?”
Close with your full name: After your message, end with a closing and signature, such as "Sincerely, Jane Doe" or "Thanks, John Doe.”
A response may take time: Instructors will aim to get back to you quickly, but don’t expect a response within a few minutes. It can take up to 24 hours for an instructor to respond. This is really important to consider when it comes to granting extensions for assignment. (Generally, it’s best to ask for extensions well in advance.)
Insights From an Online Instructor
We asked one of our instructors for tips and advice on how to succeed in an online class: