Comparing Instructor Email Response Expectations of Undergraduates in Traditional vs. Online Courses

Virtual Paper ID: 54566
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    LeAnn Wilkie
    Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Abstract: Distance education via Internet technologies has become an implied necessity at the university level. Learner-instructor interaction is considered to be essential and instructors and students routinely to communicate through email technologies, particularly in online-only coursework. Few institutions have formal guidelines generally as to instructor-to-student or student-to-instructor response norms in online classes. This article discusses a research study designed to help college instructors understand email communication expectations of undergraduate students enrolled in both traditional and online courses in order to achieve effective digital communication, thereby resulting in better student learning experiences. This study reinforces Tapscott’s (1998) study that millennials expect “…things to happen fast, because in their world things do happen fast.” (p. 74). Suggestions are also offered to instructors to improve student satisfaction with expected response times to course-related email messages.


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