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Read Everything Before You Ask a Question


One of the things you will need to get used to in online learning is the amount of reading you will do. This is not just assigned books and articles, but the syllabus, teaching lessons, and assignment instructions. In addition, you will need to get use to not being able to raise your hand in a classroom and get an immediate answer to a question. Instead, you will need to be a little more self-sufficient.

That is why you must take care to read everything before you ask a question. This is for your benefit and for the teacher’s benefit as well.

Teachers will vary in terms of their patience for answering questions that they answered clearly in writing. Yet, while some are willing to answer such questions, the nature of online learning can mean that you could wait hours or even days for an answer. Teachers travel, go on vacation, and work in other classrooms. Often, students need answers quickly and cannot wait that long.

Thus, read everything your teacher gives you. If you have a question about a due date or assignment, then make sure you check the following:

  • The syllabus — This is the most likely place, as most teachers put everything in here.
  • Weekly announcements
  • Lessons
  • Resources
  • Assignments
  • Message boards

Any one of these places could contain the answer. Be thorough and take care not to waste your time in waiting for an answer or the teacher’s time in rehashing something he or she already wrote down for you.

With that said, if you cannot find the answer, ask the question. However, make sure you use proper etiquette.

By Scott Manning
Online Learning Tips, Student Contributor