Encourage Communication between Faculty and Students

[PDF Printable Handout]

At the beginning of a course, students need to understand how often you, the instructor, will log in to the course, when and how often you will participate in the discussion area, how long it will take for you to answer their questions, and when you will post feedback on the assignments.

Clearly State Feedback Expectations


In your syllabus and/or in a topic overview, clearly state feedback expectations to encourage communication between faculty and


  1. Define when and how you can be contacted via email, phone, chat, or web conference.
  2. State what kinds of communication should happen over which channels.
  3. State how long (the maximum amount of time) it will take you to respond to an email or phone message.
  4. State how often you will check into the course discussion areas.
  5. State what days you do not plan to be in the course.
  6. State how long it will take you to post assignment feedback.
  7. Provide clear grading criteria for assignments.

Helpful Tips

Post current contact information and indicate how to best communicate with you. Some people prefer to use email while others set up a
specific discussion area for questions.


Professor: [Instructor Name]
Email: [Email Address]
Phone: [Phone number]

Professor Availability

I am usually available [days and times] for questions in the Course Questions Discussion Area, and I will be in the discussion area throughout this time. I generally will be offline on [days and times]. The best way to contact me is through [best communication method]. if you post a question, I will respond to your within [i.e., 24 or 48 hours]. If you post an assignment, I will return a graded rubric to you within [i.e., 7 days].

REMEMBER: If you have questions about assignments, you need to ask at least [appropriate length of time] to ensure that you get an answer before the due date.