Five Strategies for Building Rapport with your Professors Online

Five Strategies for Building Rapport with your Professors Online - Food & Nutrition Magazine - Student Scoop
fizkes/iStock /Getty Images Plus

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many dietetics students are taking some — or all — of their classes online. This creates a new challenge, since most dietetic internships ask applicants to provide a recommendation letter from an academic reference.

Here are some tips on how to establish relationships with faculty members from a distance. Five Strategies for Building Rapport with your Professors Online -

Introduce yourself

Before the semester begins, send your professor a quick email letting them know you’re looking forward to their class. If the syllabus is available, point out a couple chapters that sound especially interesting to you. Even if a few weeks have already gone by, know that mid semester isn’t too late to say hello.

Read the syllabus

Understand and follow all course policies and procedures. It’s a good idea to utilize all your resources before emailing your professor questions. Asking a question with an answer that’s readily available can come across as unprepared. Before hitting send, make sure the answer isn’t in the syllabus.

Attend class “live,” if possible

Some classes are still meeting, just virtually. If you’re able, watch your lectures in real time. This gives you the opportunity to participate and your professor the chance to put a face to your name.

Participate in interactive activities

Respond to posts on your class’s discussion board and show up to virtual office hours, even if it’s optional. You can use these opportunities to ask insightful questions about the material or get help with a topic that’s challenging you. Either way, this shows you’re taking initiative.

Be a good student

Turn in your assignments early or on time and avoid asking for extensions or special treatment. Don’t forget to proofread your work. This shows strong writing skills and attention to detail. Finally, try your best. Your professors will remember the effort you put into their classes.

Navigating professional relationships online can be tricky. While it may feel a little awkward and unnatural at first, reaching out to your professors now will pay off in the future.

Lauren Williams
Lauren Williams is a senior dietetics student completing her degree through Kansas State University’s online DPD program. In 2016, she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Magazine Journalism at Drake University. Her professional goal is to write and edit articles about nutrition as a registered dietitian nutritionist.