Succeeding in an Online Course

Here are some specific tips for writing email:

  • Make sure that the subject line of your email is relevant. Your instructor and classmates should be able to tell what the topic of your email is just by glancing at the subject line. If your instructor give you directions on exactly what to write in the subject line for email sent to her, follow them. Some instructors won't accept emails that don't follow the class protocol.
  • When replying to an email, choose to include the original message in your reply for easy referral by the originator.
  • Before you send your email, review it to make sure it says exactly what you want it to say.

A couple more things about email in an online course: First, don't forward someone else's email without their permission. Second, read your instructor's policy on how quickly she will reply to your email. This policy is typically found in the syllabus or Staff Information section. If your instructor doesn't have a policy, ask. Keep in mind that instructors are not online and teaching 24/7.