More advice on how to email your tutor…

Nimra brings up some excellent points that I’d like to build upon (Nimra’s letter can be found here:

Tutors often teach more than one course, and if you’re a student in any of the AU Admin or Management programs, you’re likely sending your course questions and assignments to the Call Centre, which oversees many different courses. The Call Centre highly recommends putting the following information in the subject line of any email you send, either to a tutor or to the Call Centre:

Program – Your Full Name – Your Student ID Number – Reference to Your Message

For example, if I’m sending an email asking questions about Chapter 7 material in FNCE 370, my email subject line would read:

FNCE 370 – Shirley Barg – ####### (My 7-digit ID number) – Ch. 7 Questions

In a conversation I had with a Call Centre staff person, she told me how horribly delayed responses to students’ assignments and questions can get because no references have been given as to who sent it or what it’s pertaining to. Call Centre employees have to try to find the information based only on the student’s email address.

It’s nice to know that we, as students, have ways to make sure we get responses to our questions or assignments marked and returned in the quickest time possible simply by putting the right information in the subject line of our emails to tutors and the Call Centre.

Shirley Barg

Thanks for the information, Shirley. It’s important for all students to remember that when you send an email you must always assume that the reader won’t know who you are or what you are writing about, so make sure to provide enough information to clarify your identity and purpose. It might really speed up response times!

I’m a little surprised to hear that the call centre will spend time looking up student information, when it is so time-consuming. It might be a better if they simply replied to e-mails that are ambiguous and asked for clarifying information so that students know in the future how to properly format their queries. This is what I try to do, as it greatly reduces confusion and prevents me from providing irrelevant answers. We all play a part in making communication effective: