Working with Instructors

How can I best communicate with my instructors?

Communicate Early 

If you have a question or a problem, communicate with your instructor as soon as possible. Read assignment directions well before the due date. Your instructors want to help you, and the more time they have to help, the more helpful they can be. Be aware of the Late Work Policies listed in your syllabi; these will differ across your courses.

Communicate Clearly

Take time to proofread your messages before you send them. When you send an email or use the Canvas inbox, include the following:

  • The class name.
  • The assignment name. Instead of saying, “I have a question about the assignment for Friday,” say, “I have a question about the audience analysis discussion that is due Friday.”
  • Your specific reason for writing. For example, if you don’t understand the instructions, point to the language in the instructions that you find confusing.
  • The action item for your instructor. What would you like your instructor to do?

Communicate Respectfully

You may become frustrated during your MBA program if, for example, a technology fails or a group member isn’t performing well. And occasionally, despite their best efforts, instructors may make a mistake or a link breaks. A polite nudge in these cases is always appreciated. Assume others have good intentions. An email that asks for clarification or assistance will yield positive results. Consider waiting to send an email if you are upset in the moment and re-read it later.

What tool should I use to ask questions?

  • Canvas inbox or email: Best used for questions about grades, concerns with team members, or other private matters.
  • “Raise Your Hand” discussion in Canvas: If you think others might have the same question or that your classmates might be able to help, post your question here. Examples include clarification of an assignment or course content or questions about where to find information in the course.
  • “Around the Watercooler” discussion in Canvas: Post community-building information or questions others might find interesting like articles related to the course, life updates, dog or cat pictures, questions or comments about current events, etc.
  • Virtual office hours: Please take advantage of virtual office hours if your instructor offers them! You don’t even need a reason. Just stopping by to say “hi” will be a welcomed treat. Your classmates and your instructors want to hear from you. Interaction is one of the major factors in the success of an online course and an online student. You will discover that frequent interaction is one of the most valuable learning opportunities in your MBA program. We are so excited to hear from you!
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