One of the things any incoming student needs to know about college is that communication is key! If there is any problem, mishap, question, comment, or concern it won’t get answered if you don’t talk to someone about this. Sometimes you can just ask the kid next to you in class or sometimes you can pop in early and ask the professor before class but in distance learning (online) classes you have to take the initiative and type that email.
Generally with online classes when you have a question for the professor, email is the way to go. Always make sure to keep it professional and treat it like a letter to someone you want to impress, not a text to your BFF. As long as you keep in professional, concise, and from your school email, your professor should respond quickly. That’s one of the biggest benefits of email. The hardest things about email have to be the lack of nonverbal cues and that sometimes, you just don’t understand the way they’re explaining it. In that case you can always request an alternate explanation or resource or even to meet up.
Every once in a while you’ll have online projects with your classmates. When you can’t meet up, the most useful thing I’ve discovered is gChat. You can instant message or video message to set standards, goals, roles and deadlines. It’s great to plan everything so no one is confused and everyone is held responsible. I always suggest writing everything down and making sure everyone gets a copy as well.
Finally, just as a reminder, always be positive. You can come off all kinds of different ways over the internet so always stay aware of the persona you’re conveying! Be nice and remember the golden rule!