Knowing a little bit about the individual that is going to be leading your class can help you stay more engaged with the course…unless of course you learn that they’re a Dead fan and you’re an ardent Miley Cyrus fan. Even then however, there’s probably a good chance for you to learn how to get along with people who are different from you.

Some online college professors do not like to share much personal information about themselves. If this is the case you are probably still safe to pry a bit into their professional career. If they don’t volunteer the information you can ask them where they went to school and to share of the things that they loved about it. Did they imagine going into this line of work of did they happen upon it by some turn of events?

Assuming that you attend an accredited online college you can assume a couple things about your instructor as well. Online teaching requirements don’t differ from the requirements that a teacher would have to go though to be able to teach in a regular university. They may be required to know some about the online system that they are using to teach in addition to their professional requirements. At some universities potential educators are even required to course work in how to actually teach. We’ve all been in classrooms where an instructor knows what their talking about, but has a difficult time conveying it to others. Have both can really help.

Another way to learn more about your professor (you may even wish to do this before you register for classes) is to go to their personal webpage on the school’s website. They may even have their own website where they share their resume. This is helpful because you often get to see personal areas of interest, what research they’ve been involved with and what articles, books or book chapters, etc. they have written. This can give you a better idea into who they are and give you a wider perspective as they teach. If something on their page excites you, make it a point to take time to ask them about it. Share with them your interest and inquire into their experience writing, or their experience researching rat behavior. Build on common grounds.

Your professor may or may not have had much experience. If they are at a major university and have taught a while they may have some things written about them by other students in online forums about professors like RateMyProfessor.com. You may also ask other professors in the university how well they know your professor and what they think about them. This can be a touchy subject with fellow professors, but as long as you aren’t asking what their flaws are, you may be okay.

Take some time to get to know your online college professor and you will be much more able to work with him or her (again, assuming you can get past the tie-dyed). Good luck!

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