Online classes need higher standards for communication

Despite the benefits online courses provide, one major drawback is how ineffective reaching out to your professors can be. | Kailey Krantz, PantherNOW

Kailey Krantz | Staff Writer

Online classes are a necessary option for students, but the ability to communicate from student to professor needs attention.

FIU Online is a good way for students to take classes in the comforts of their homes and allows them to have flexible schedules when completing their assignments.

For older or off-campus students who already have jobs or are unable to attend in-person depend on online courses to complete their degrees.

Despite the benefits online courses provide, one major drawback is how ineffective reaching out to your professors can be. 

Online students are struggling with reaching out to their professors and some professors can indulge in grading their students’ assignments late.

On the syllabus, professors spell out where and when you can contact them via their office hours. The most common way of contacting them is to send them a message through their Canvas inbox.

Canvas is convenient and is the fastest and most direct way to reach someone, but there’s a caveat.

When sending a message, the response time varies from professor to professor. It can take days or weeks for them to respond, aggravating students who need a speedy response.

There are also other options for reaching out to professors, such as sending a personal email or a text, but some syllabi restrict students to only reaching out to them via Canvas.

This recently happened to me in one of my classes. Students were constantly sending messages to a professor because her modules page had no assignments on it and the semester had already started.

The entire class was worried about completing their assignments on time since they had no idea what the due dates were since they weren’t listed.

I was especially worried because I needed this course for my degree and it would upset my planning with the rest of my classes. 

I understand online professors may be under a lot of pressure from handling multiple students in an online space, but it can be a significant disadvantage for students who are figuring out their personal assignment schedules and it forces them to inconveniently change it at the last minute.

The snail’s pace at which some professors respond to students also trickles down to grading their assignments.

Some assignments have explicit instructions to wait until the professor approves or leave comments before they can advance to the next assignment. In other cases, these assignments are locked until a listed date, leaving students to wait until then to start working on it.

These issues restrict students freedom of completing assignments at their own pace and it makes it even more inconvenient when you have to complete these assignments before going on a trip and you need to wait until they’re made available. 

Communication issues in an online class are terrible to deal with because there’s a disconnect between the student and the professor, which can lead to students being more confused about how to complete their assignments and less likely to get a good grade and pass the class.

The best solution for this is to make communication a priority for success in online classes. 

FIU should standardize communication in online learning to make things easier for everyone. Consistent and timely communication is key to succeeding in an online course and that can be harder to achieve if these issues are not addressed.


The opinions presented on this page do not represent the views of the PantherNOW Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.

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