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38. Expectations for timely and regular feedback from the instructor are clearly stated (questions, email, assignments).

Review These Explanations

By setting learner expectations upfront, instructors avoid having a lot of questions asked via the Ask a Question discussion area or by email, thus reducing time on extra tasks. Learners will experience less frustration if they know what to expect.

Establishing expectations, including instructor/learner and learner/learner interaction is important for keeping learners on track and for prioritizing responsibilities to help manage instructor and learner workload (Ladyshwesky, 2013). 

Detailed interaction guidelines should be posted in the syllabus and Course Information Documents folder. These guidelines define course interaction protocol and set expectations on the frequency, response time, and quality of interactions expected from both instructors and learners.


Ladyshewsky, R. (2013). Instructor Presence in Online Courses and Student Satisfaction. International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching & Learning, 7(1), 1-23.

Refresh Your Course with These Ideas

  • Create a “What You Can Expect from Me” video and include it in the course welcome area. Let learners know early on what they can expect from you, and what you expect from them.
  • Let your learners know if you will be travelling or unavailable at any time during the term. 
  • Let learners know exactly how long it will take for you to grade their work, including work that has been submitted late.
  • Notify learners if there will be any delay in feedback, including assignments and grades.
  • Acknowledge any delayed feedback you give. You would want the same from your learners!

Explore Related Resources

A Closer Look at Instructor-Student Feedback Online: A Case Study Analysis of the Types and Frequency
It is widely recognized that good teaching includes instructor-student feedback, and in online courses, feedback takes a variety of forms, including both synchronous and asynchronous interactions. To understand better the types and frequency of instructor-student feedback interactions, this case study used document analysis to examine feedback in an online course over a full semester.