As we find ourselves at the university premises, it is necessary to respect the rules of the communication culture. However, we know that it is not always easy to keep these rules in mind; therefore, we have prepared this "guide" for you, in which we want to share a few points that you should follow to communicate with your teachers or other university staff. Please read this manual carefully and return to it whenever you are unsure.
BEING ON TIME
It is extremely important to be on time for meetings and classes. If a class starts at 8:00, you must be in the classroom no later than 7:55, or even earlier. Being on time is not only important for you, but it is also respectful to other students and the teacher.
Being late may disturb others. Also, you may not be able to sign the attendance sheet on time.
Therefore, always be on the spot in advance. If you do happen to be late, try to be as quiet as possible and try not to disturb the lesson/meeting - move the door quietly, sit in the nearest place and do not speak loudly.
The subject of the e-mail
It is not always easy to figure out what to write in the subject line of an e-mail. How to squeeze everything into three words? Under no circumstances should you skip this point. The subject of the e-mail will give the recipient an idea of what you want from them and ensure that they will deal with the e-mail. Thanks to the subject, you will be able to search for the e-mail in your inbox later easily.
Try to be concise and clearly describe the content of the e-mail. For example, if you want to make an appointment with your supervisor, you can use this subject: "Consultation request".
Include the previous conversation
If you are replying to an e-mail, be sure to include the previous e-mails from the conversation! There are many students, and the addressee may not remember what they wrote about with you previously. Including previous e-mails will save the addressee's time who would otherwise have to search for e-mails you have once sent to them.
Starting an e-mail with a greeting (Good morning/Hello/Hi, ...) is not considered appropriate in official communication. Also, it is important to know if you are writing to a female or a male. The usual addressing is:
Dear Sir / Madam, ...
Dear + academic position (Dear vice-dean, ...)
Dear Mr / Mrs + surname (Dear Mr Novak, ...)
In case you do not know the name of the person and the academic position, you can use this addressing: Dear professor, ...
If you call an academic by degree or position, do not use their name, other titles or abbreviations of his title. Address Dear Mr Associate Professor Novák, PhD. is incorrect.
Your teacher probably has dozens, maybe hundreds of students, and teaches several courses. After the correct address, introduce yourself and state which course you are attending. The academic will know where to place you and what subject the e-mail will cover. Also, do not forget to include your UČO (student ID number) to ensure that the teacher can find you in the IS.
Get to the point, but decently
You can now go to the main message of your e-mail and write to the addressee what you want from them. Don't forget to behave yourself, if you want any favour, ask. Even if you have fun with the teacher in the lecture, skip the emojis from the conversation. These are dedicated to communicating with friends and close people. Try to get straight to the point and write directly to the educator what you need. If you want to arrange a consultation, state what it should cover.
When you add an attachment to an e-mail, mention it in the body of the e-mail to make sure that the addressee does not miss it.
Acknowledgements and farewells
At the end of the e-mail, do not forget to express your thanks. Formal sign-offs are also important, especially in the first correspondence. You can use “Yours faithfully,” or “Yours sincerely,” in this case. Do not forget to include your full name with UČO. Finally, do not forget to reread the e-mail and correct the typos – your e-mail represents who you are.
The teacher will probably not answer immediately. Wait a few days for an answer, then kindly remind yourself. Not every teacher has time to respond immediately or make time for you, even if all of them try to. A good rule of thumb is to avoid asking for general information that can be found on a website or in course materials. Do your research beforehand and only reach out for insights or personal recommendations.
FACE TO FACE COMMUNICATION
Generally speaking, if you follow good behaviour principles and communicate with teachers and other university staff with respect and dignity, you will not ruin anything.
It is always good to follow the basic four rules:
- Knock on the door,
- Kindly request,
If you meet a teacher or any other university staff in the hallway, in an elevator, say hello. This applies not only to our faculty but also in canteens or anywhere else.
When you encounter a problem or have doubts about something, solve everything in peace. Do not argue with teachers and remember that you should treat others the way you want them to treat you.