10 Develop an Effective Student-Instructor Connection

An abstract representation of a student and instructor communicating
Image Credit: Rawia Inaim


Now that you have developed a picture of the role that your instructors will have in your online learning journey, how might you develop an effective relationship with them. Consider the following suggestions:

  1. When you look at a course reading, activity, or assignment, try to put yourself inside the mind of your instructor. Why do you think they chose this particular learning experience for you? What do you think they intend for you to learn? Understanding the purpose of a learning activity can increase your motivation and help you to stay on track in your work.
  2. Take advantage of opportunities to connect with your instructor, either face to face or during online office hours. You can attend office hours to clarify course difficulties, but also to build your relationship with your instructor and demonstrate your interest in the course material.
  3. Check the course site regularly. Your instructor is likely to post announcements and other key messages for the class. This provides another point of frequent contact.
  4. Use email effectively to connect. You will learn more about how to construct an effective email in the section on professional communication in this workshop – but if you are curious, you may choose to view the chapter on how to email an instructor now.
  5. When you receive feedback on an assignment, consider it carefully. How does your instructor want to see you grow in your academic or professional skills?


For Reflection

Reflect on the questions below. If you wish, you may print out a downloadable version of this activity.

How would you define an effective relationship with an online instructor?

What is one step you will take to develop a relationship with each of your course instructors?


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Learning to Learn Online Copyright © 2018 by Marti Alger, Christina Page, and Adam Vincent is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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