Email etiquette for communicating with undergrads: Put it in your syllabus

The work-life study at Amherst makes the suggestion the the University should implement a campus-wide email etiquette policy “which should be included in all faculty syllabi and as part of student

orientation. Suggested etiquette rules include:

• Expect faculty to respond to emails between 9am and 5pm on Monday through Friday with a forty-eight hour lag time.

• For any concerns about grades, meet with your professor or TA face-to-face.

• Before sending questions via email, make sure that your question is not answered on the course syllabus or website.

• Be specific about the subject of the email in the mail subject heading and use proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation.”

Think about putting these rules in your syllabus or, if you are a TA, make sure that your undergrads know this (or something like it) is your policy.   Also, stick to your policy.  Doing so will help create boundaries between work and home and keep from maintaining unrealistically high student expectations.

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