How to Land a Reference From an Online Instructor

Online undergrads need to be proactive in getting to know their instructors.

To establish a good relationship with your online professor, take advantage of online office hours, experts say.
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[Learn how to weed out bad online programs.]

Although it's best to make a strong academic impression throughout the course of a class, if you can only shine once, do so toward the beginning, says Regent's Campo.

"The first assignment is a critical one," he says. "Really work hard on that assignment – whether it's worth 2 percent or 20 percent. That first assignment sends an indelible message to the faculty member that you are working hard."

Although establishing a good connection with an online instructor takes effort, it doesn't need to be hard.

Damaso, of Daytona State, says she thinks it's easier to make a positive impression on a faculty member in an online class than in a traditional brick-and-mortar course.

"You are not in class in person, so you can't ask questions right away," she says. "But I think the written word goes a bit further. It's a little bit more precise. You have more time to really think about what you're asking. Sometimes, I thought it was more of a benefit than a hindrance."

Trying to fund your online education? Get tips and more in the U.S. News Paying for Online Education center.