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Instructor Blog: Communicating with your Instructor

Instructors are an essential resource for students. As an instructor, I am always happy to provide clarification on a student regarding course content or feedback on a grade.  From an instructor perspective, I wanted to offer insight into different ways to reach instructors, and how to ensure a prompt response. Email Email is the most appropriate for questions regarding a specific grade, or for anything related to late work. Below are some tips for using email effectively:

  • All instructor emails are located in the “Meet Your Instructor” tab in Blackboard. Copy and paste the address into an email to ensure there are no misspellings.
  • Be sure you are using your BSC email. Emails from personal accounts may be sent directly to a spam folder. Even if they do reach the instructor, it is more difficult to identify the student.
  • Include the course name and section number (for example, ENGL 101 02) to help your instructor identify the course you are in. Many instructors teach more than one section.
  • If you have not heard from your instructor in 48 hours, send an additional email and mention that you are still waiting for a response. Instructors are not perfect, and sometimes emails just get missed. If a response is still not received, contact your adviser.
Ask Your Instructor Forum If your question is not regarding feedback on an assignment or personal in nature, use the “Ask Your Instructor” forum.
  • Because it is a discussion forum it is easy to see that the post was successfully made, as opposed to an email which can be sent to the wrong email address.
  • Posts made in the “Ask Your Instructor Forum” are sent as an email to instructors, so they are just as fast as an email.
  • Other students can read the question and either provide guidance or benefit from the answer from the instructor.
  • Just like email, you should receive a response in 48 hours. If a response is not received, email your instructor directly.
Office Hours An instructor’s Office Hours are located in the “Meet Your Instructor” tab in Blackboard. Instructors have different mediums for office hours, such as by phone, Skype, or another platform.  This is a time an instructor has set aside to be available for students, so you can expect an immediate response. This is a great option for more in-depth explanations on assignment expectations or course content. If you are not available during the scheduled office hours listed by your instructor, email him or her requesting an alternate time During end of session reflections, I often have students say they wish they had asked for help on assignments. Reach out to your instructor by any of the above methods. We want to help you succeed

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