How to Interact With Professors in Online Classes

Posted by
Jeff Black On Jan 4 , 2021

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Interacting with professors in a virtual classroom is an integral part of online learning. Since face-to-face interactions between students and professors are limited in online learning, you must still establish good relationships with professors if you hope to achieve academic success.

If you interact with a professor in a proper way, you can gain unique insight and receive help when you’re stuck. Here are some avenues you can use to contact professors in online classes:

Email or Portal Messenger: Online classes are great because they have user-friendly portals that help students communicate and organize coursework. Use your course portal to reach out to an instructor, or you can do things old school and just use email.

Videoconferencing: Those who enjoy face-to-face interactions should use videoconferencing when communicating with professors. Of course not all professors will want to use this, but you should take advantage of video conferencing opportunities when they’re presented.

Social Media: You can use networking sites like LinkedIn and Facebook to communicate with professors, though this should be regarded as a last resort since most instructors don’t like communicating through social media.

How to Have Effective Interactions

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Know Your Professor’s Preferences

Before you reach out to a professor for help, know which communication avenue they prefer. Some professors like voice calls while others prefer communicating through chat boxes. No matter what, go with what your professor prefers. Acknowledgement of their preferences will look good.

Ask Questions

Always ask relevant questions when it’s appropriate. When you begin an interaction with a professor, ask questions slowly to show that you’re processing the answers in real time. If your online course instructor has set meeting times, sign up for one and use this time to express concerns and doubts. But if you find you can’t ask good questions, call a tutor and ask: “Can I pay someone to take my online class?” Online tutors can communicate with professors for you.


Professors love students who engage—they make teaching worthwhile. If you regularly participate in online discussions, you can easily get noticed by professors. They’re also more inclined to help productive students. But if you can’t participate because of a work deadline or family commitment, online class takers can stand in to ensure you always participate.

Strong student-professor relationships are what help most students get by in online classes. Students aren’t the only ones who benefit from these interactions, of course. Professors love learning too, and from students they get new perspectives and insights.