Students, instructors must establish communication

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By Christopher A. Hernandez

In college, students must communicate with instructors to stay informed about changes in class location, upcoming assignments, unexpected obligations and dates for finals.

Most students are afraid to ask questions because they don’t understand the assignment or material handed out, Lisa Black, student development professor, said.

“Students need to overcome the fear of asking questions because the only way an instructor can help a student is by communicating,” she said.

She said instructors could establish a relationship with students by making them feel comfortable in the classroom.

“Students need to break away from the ‘miss’ mentality,” Black said.

She referred to students who frequently address female instructors as ‘Miss” or male instructors as “Mister.” Instead, she said they should address instructors by name.

Instructors can allow students to use first names to establish a connection with students, she said.

“Students need to keep instructors informed about unexpected emergencies or job-related obligations,” Julie Engel, director of student development, said Wednesday.

She said most students don’t keep instructors informed about what is happening in their daily lives when they miss class.

“Most instructors, in any way possible, will help students with personal or school-related issues,” she said.

Students who seek assistance outside of class should contact instructors during office hours, and exchange emails through ACES or Canvas, Engel said.

Canvas allows instructors to post assignments, grades and deadlines for their students.

This system allows students to have discussions with not just the instructor but also the entire class by posting the discussion or communicating through recorded instructions, face-to-face video chat, email and chat rooms.


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