Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Emailing Professors Spiraling Out of Control

The Grave Digger
Professors across the country have varying opinions of emails from students. Some see it as opportunity to get feedback on the content and speed of their lectures. Some see it as a demand to be on-call twenty four hours a day. Some see it as a sort of icebreaker to open communication with their students.

Likely, email is a combination of all of the above. However, the frustration doesn't end there, when professionalism and even common sense seem to have flown out the window.

Jennifer Schultens, an associate professor of mathematics at the University of California, Davis, received this e-mail message last September from a student in her calculus course: "Should I buy a binder or a subject notebook? Since I'm a freshman, I'm not sure how to shop for school supplies. Would you let me know your recommendations? Thank you!"

Link. As email makes professors more accessible to students, some err on the side of too casual and do not demonstrate the proper respect that would be otherwise displayed with a face-to-face meeting.

What's the answer? I don't know, but don't follow this example.

Indexed by tags email, professors, college, professionalism.


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