Last van teveel studentenmailtjes?

Word je soms ook zo gebombardeerd met e-mail berichtjes van studenten? De laatste tijd lijkt het een ware rage te worden docenten te overstelpen met digitale communicatie. Misschien is het nuttig een e-mail etiquette af te spreken met je studenten zoals aangegeven in dit artikel.

Enkele praktische tips uit het artikel die je kan meegeven aan je studenten:

  • Don’t email your professor to ask whether they will excuse a particular absence. Most professors allow a certain number of absences without expecting an explanation. Beyond that, bringing unnecessary attention to your absence only wastes your and your professor’s time. We don’t want to hear about stomach bugs (or how many trips you made to the bathroom during the night), fights with roommates, or court appearances. We do, however, want to know about serious illnesses, deaths in the family, and other events in your life that cause hardship and affect your performance in our classes.
  • Don’t email your professor asking for notes or handouts that you have misplaced. If you miss class or lose your notes, contact your peers. Instead of emailing the professor, inform a friend in the class that you will need her to pick up any handouts and to note any changes to the syllabus that you will miss because of your absence.
  • Don’t email your professor asking (or complaining) about your grades. If you want to discuss the grade you have received on an assignment, make an appointment with your professor or stop by during office hours. Also, don’t email your professors asking if they have finished grading a particular assignment. Instructors will return papers as soon as they are graded. The same goes for final grades. Professors should not be expected to inform individual students of their final grades via email, nor should they be expected to explain how a final grade was calculated. That’s the purpose of providing grading policies on syllabi.
  • Think about what you are asking for before emailing. Your professors are busy people too. Make sure that the answer to your question isn’t readily available elsewhere or that you can’t wait until you see your professor in class to ask your question.
  • Treat your faculty (and fellow students) with respect, even in email. Always use your professors’ proper title: Dr. or Professor. Unless you are specifically invited to do so, don’t refer to them by first name.
  • Don’t email a draft of your assignment to your professor for review. Your professors make assignments to assess your learning. Asking them to evaluate an assignment twice is unfair to them and to your peers. If you want guidance on completing an assignment, make an appointment or stop by during office hours. Emailing your assignments to your professor asking for an informal review is a way of saying “My time is more valuable than yours; tell me exactly what I need to do to get a good grade.”
  • Don’t expect an immediate response to your email. Emailing your professors at 2 a.m. is fine, but don’t expect an answer by 8 a.m. Each professor has a different work schedule and a personal life as well. Email is a great way to get your question to your professor, but realize that she may not be able to answer immediately. In some cases, your professors may not have access to information about your question, unless they are in the office. Twenty-four or even 48 hours is a standard window for an email response during the business week.
  • Don’t wait until a day or two before a semester—long project is due to ask for feedback or advice on the project. Doing so reflects poorly on you. At such a late date, you no longer have time to seriously take any advice a professor might be able to give you even if he or she had the time to provide you with it in the first place.
  • You are what you email. Your email messages to your professor help shape their professional opinion about you. In some settings, email is the primary means by which the professor will be able to form an opinion about you. Remember that you may find yourself asking a professor to write a letter of recommendation for employment, graduate school, or a scholarship. Every communication that you have with your professors will contribute to the impression that they form of you. Make sure that it’s a positive one. Read each email twice before sending.
  • And closely related to the previous tip—consider your audience. The persona you use when you are instant messaging friends is usually inappropriate for your professors, where a higher degree of formality is expected.
  • Check your syllabus before asking unnecessary questions. Don’t ask about information that is readily available on your syllabus. Professors, who have to balance an enormously demanding schedule -including course preparations, paper grading, committee meetings, and other types of appointments-may take umbrage at being asked to provide information that has already been made available.
  • Use proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Whatever professional field you enter, adherence to basic writing skills will serve you well. By ignoring such basics, you risk making a negative impression, which will be extremely hard to erase.
  • Include a detailed subject line. Never leave the subject line blank, and if you are responding to an old message with an outdated subject line, replace it with the current subject.
  • Keep your message concise and precise. If you find yourself writing more than two or three brief paragraphs, consider making an appointment with your professor.
  • Don’t shout your message. Don’t use all CAPITAL LETTERS or overdo punctuation!!!!! This common practice is the online equivalent of yelling and is considered by many people to be very rude.
  • Avoid angry outbursts. Do not send or reply to a message when you are angry. Wait until you have calmed down, and then compose the email.
  • Lay out your message for readability. Use spaces and breaks between paragraphs and long sentences to make your message easier to read.
  • Provide your full name at the end of every email. Your professors may very well have multiple “Jennifers” in any given semester. Also, your nickname may be familiar to your friends, but your instructor may have no idea who “Sticky Buns” is.
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