15 Tips For Better Online Student-Faculty Communication

Online learning offers a host of conveniences that make it a popular option for students. Students don’t need to live near a physical university to take the classes, timing is often flexible, and it is generally a cheaper option than attending a brick and mortar school. Teaching in an online classroom  is a little bit different for each teacher: as in physical classrooms, everyone does it a bit differently! That said, there are some common complaints among online learners, and among them, students tend to note that they lack the faculty-student interaction that they would normally have in a physical classroom.

Encouraging Better Online Student-Faculty Communication

Stepping up the efforts to maintain good contact with your students when you’re teaching online likely tops most online teachers’ must-do lists. The handy infographic below looks at some tips and best practices for online faculty, from the ever-wonderful Mia MacMeekin. Keep reading to learn more!

15 Tips For Communication

  • Respond within 24-48 hours
  • Treat the student as a person, not as an ID number
  • Respond in the same way they initiated (ie, phone calls get a return call, emails get a return email, etc)
  • Post announcements to all students regularly
  • Be pleasant
  • Get to know your students
  • Provide a real solution or plan
  • Show concern
  • Know their name
  • Respect time zones
  • After back and forth emails, pick up the phone and call when necessary
  • Never discount their life circumstances
  • Never ignore a student
  • Encourage and show them how to succeed
  • Set aside time and a quiet environment for communication

10 Prompts to Stimulate Conversation

  • Share personal stories of overcoming
  • Be understanding when things come up
  • Set clear action plans for failing students
  • Use video chat to explain information
  • Read an entire email before responding
  • Ask students for their proposed solutions
  • Don’t forget about the A students
  • Contact your boss for assistance
  • Allocate more time for needy students
  • Ask if you have answered adequately
  • Don’t criticize the school, course, or leaders



  1. Math Practice Games

    March 12, 2014 at 6:19 am

    You have shared verrrrrrrrryyyyyyy useful article regarding Online teaching. I think Now internet make very easy study. If you have desire to learn then now so many resources which you can achieve. I really appreciated your work.

  2. Mary

    March 12, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    Great tips!! Is very important to encourage interactivity. Nearpod is a tool that I would recommend personally! It encourages students to participate actively, they look much more engaged, those interactive features certainly change the pace of a lesson.