Help Me Help You College Life

Hello everyone:

I was contacted by a student recently; she had a question about an assignment. The challenge was that I teach multiple, different courses and she did not identify which course she was taking. She asked for insight into an upcoming assignment, but did not say which assignment she was talking about.

Another student had a query about a discussion board assignment. She asked me to clarify the assignment, without specifically saying what she didn’t understand.

Folks, please help your instructors help you. When you send us an email, specify what class you are taking with us and what assignment you are talking about and what it is that you don’t understand.

In the first student’s case, I guessed at what the problem was and answered her email. I may not hear from her until tonight, but I don’t answer my email at night so she won’t get her answer until tomorrow afternoon (instead of this afternoon). By the time she figures out what is expected, her assignment may be late.

In the second student’s case, she was online at the same time I was. I answered her email and she was able to turn the email around at once and explain exactly what she didn’t understand. I was able to respond immediately and she had her answer.

Have you found that some of your classes need assignments clarified? Keep in mind that I am not a mind-reader. You need to tell me what you don’t understand so that I can guide you. How do you handle your own interaction with the professor?


Dr. Sheri


Sheri Dean Parmelee has a Ph.D. in Communication Studies from Regent University. She writes books on practical tips for people who become unexpectedly unmarried and is working on her second novel in a series of contemporary romance/suspense novels. She teaches at three colleges, working with students from freshmen to graduate students. Her hobbies include running 8 miles a day and reading biographies and fiction.

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