February 16, 2021

Let’s face it: online courses are different from face-to-face ones. You may like that, or maybe not. One thing for sure is that interaction can be more challenging in an online class versus in person. If you’re taking an asynchronous course, you may find yourself feeling alone, or at least in the company of text rather than faces. However, that doesn’t mean you’re on your own. There are several ways to build interaction with the instructor and your classmates. 

Here are just a few tips: 

Let your instructor know the best way to contact you. Oftentimes instructors may try to contact you using your Century email. While it is important for you to regularly check your Century email, you may have an alternative method that you check more frequently. If so, please let your instructor know. 

Use instructor online hours. Instructors hold office hours for the purpose of helping students with their course content. If you aren’t available for the specific office hours, don’t hesitate to let the instructor know. Most instructors will be able to schedule a time that works for you. 

Ask instructors if they can introduce you to other students who are interested in a study group. Getting together with other students to go over the course content is not only an excellent way to master the course material, but also allows you to get connected with other students. 

Take advantage of discussion thread participation. If you’d like to get to know more classmates, respond to more classmates’ posts in discussion threads (more than the minimum number required). The more classmates you respond to, the more likely you are to get to know others.  

Always let your instructor know if you are having difficulty in the class. Instructors really want to talk with you if you are having challenges with your courses. You can email them or use Starfish to request a meeting. Your advisor can let you know how to use Starfish. 

In sum, taking online courses requires us not only to use technology to interact with one another, but also the initiative to reach out. Learning online doesn’t have to be a solitary experience. Just let your instructor or classmates know that you want to discuss the course material; you’ll be surprised how many will be happy to do so!