7 Tips to Form Relationships in Online Learning

man having a video conference on laptop

Online learning is, in many ways, more difficult than traditional classroom learning. As an online student, you have to work with your instructors so that they can provide the learning and attention you need. In the online environment, you can’t sit in the back of the classroom and hide. So avoiding any relationship is impossible. It’s up to you to get to know your instructor, and make sure they know you.

Even though the relationship will most likely last only five or six weeks, it can be rewarding. Here are six ways to build a relationship with an online instructor:

1. Post your introduction as soon as you have access to your online course. Instructors recognize early participation is often a sign that you are a dedicated student.

2. Read your instructor’s bio before the course begins. You will get a good look at the instructor’s personality. You will know if they are going to be very formal or have a more casual relationship with you from the information they share and the way they write.

3. Make sure that you read the announcements. Check for news each time you log in to the online classroom.

4. If you don’t understand something, ask! Instructors appreciate it when you ask for help rather than guessing.

5. Remember to use APA format throughout every written assignment, even the first page.

6. Write detailed discussion posts. And check back to read the replies to your post.

7. Don’t be afraid to disagree with or challenge your instructor. Just make sure that you have good support for what you are saying.

At the end of the course, be sure to fill out the end-of-course survey. This feedback is important for instructors to improve. Every once in a while, you’ll meet a special instructor who creates a great experience in the online classroom. Please take a minute to send them an email and say thanks. Instructors love to hear that their students appreciate them.

Follow these steps, and you’ll build a positive relationship with your instructor. Who knows? You may even find that your short-term instructor becomes a longtime mentor.

Written by Judi Muhammad

Judi teaches courses in psychology as an Associate Faculty member with Ashford University.

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