Communicating With Students

Students care about having a good relationship with their professors.  Out-of-class communication makes student-teacher relationships more personal, correlates with student levels of satisfaction, motivates students, and contributes highly to student learning.

Building Rapport  

Tips for encouraging out-of-class communication for professors:

  • Make time for students when they need help, especially during office hours.
  • Arrive to class early, and stay after to accommodate easy contact.
  • Include an invitation to visit during office hours and a “by appointment” option.
  • Explain your availability to students on the first day of class.
  • Write email and office hours on the board (or include in PowerPoint) in every class.
  • Work to learn student’s names and recognize them around campus – smiles and waves are appreciated.
  • Provide specific feedback on assignments and course projects.
  • Schedule midterm consultations with each student.
  • Provide home or cell phone numbers in case of emergencies.