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Response Time

Responding to Student Emails

Just as you would make time during class for student questions, set aside time during the week to answer student emails from your online course. Watch the video to understand the importance of a quick response to student emails.


Research in online education supports an instructor response time of 24-48 hours, with the ideal feedback and grade posting timeline of no later than 2 weeks after the assignment due date (White & Weight, 1999; Zhang, Hurst, & McLean, 2016).


Clear expectations of instructor response time will reduce frustration and the number of repeat emails (Waterhouse & Rogers, 2004).


A lack of response from an instructor can leave students feeling isolated (Appana, 2008; Carlson & Repman, 2000; Chang, 2009).


Responding to emails quickly and providing up to date grades with detailed feedback is critical part of student success in an online course (Wuensch et al., 2008).


  • References

    Appana, S. (2008). A review of benefits and limitations of online learning in the context of the student, the instructor, and the tenured faculty. International Journal on E-Learning, 7(1), 5-22.

    Carlson, R., & Repman, J. U. D. I. (2000). Building that human touch into your Web-based course. WebNet Journal, 2(3), 9-11.

    Chang, C-W.(2009). Efficacy of interaction among college students in a web-based environment.Journal of Educational Technology Development and Exchange, 2(1), 17-32.

    Waterhouse, S.,& Rogers, R. (2004). The importance of policies in e-learning instruction. EDUCAUSE Quarterly, 27(3), 28-39.

    White, K.W., & Weight, B.H. (1999).Online teaching guide: A handbook of attitudes, strategies, and techniques for the virtual classroom. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

    Wuensch, K. L., Aziz, S., Ozan, E., Kinshore, M., & Tabrizi, M. H. N. (2008). Pedagogical characteristics of online and face-to-face classes. International Journal on E-Learning, 7(3), 523-532.

    Zhang, C. W., Hurst, B., & McLean, A. (2016). How fast is fast enough? Education students’ perceptions of email response time in online courses. Journal of Educational Technology Development and Exchange (JETDE), 9(1), 1.

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