Last week I wrote about collegiality on campus and was really thinking about colleagues. Today I am thinking about students. Most of the original post applies; however, it is markedly different for students. I advise students and I supervise students. But, I also assess student work and worth with graduate and undergraduate students in different capacities. I am in contact with lots of students and I had some interesting conversations with colleagues at #ISA2012 I know that email communication is a sore spot for lots of us.
I’ll list in no particular order some suggestions:
Never send an email that you have initial misgivings with or give you pause. Don’t send it. You might have a smartphone, but that doesn’t mean that you are making smart decisions. The tendency is to be less formal and send an incomplete sort of email.
Never send an email in anger or frustration concerning a mark. These situations really requires a face to face meeting. And, then you and the recipient have the record of your angry or frustrated email. Avoid sending an email that you might later feel sheepish about or regret.
Never send an email making statements that you wouldn’t say to someone’s face. We get brave behind the screen or with the phone, so think before you send. Remember that your instructor or boss is not your peer and you should error on being more formal than informal.
What you should do if you feel you need to send an email: Send yourself the email and wait. Then, review the email. Practice smart computing and communicating.