Not every online professor is an all-star teacher. Just like traditional professors, some online instructors simply do not have what it takes o run a successful course. They may be unorganized, have unreasonable expectations, be unknowledgeable about the curriculum, or simply be inaccessible. Many colleges (particularly for-profit programs) hire new professors with little teaching experience and limited credentials since distance learning is growing so rapidly. For example, some students may find themselves in online classes about Art History taught by instructors that just finished graduate work in English Literature. Don’t try to just suffer through the course in case you find yourself with an instructor that isn’t helping you learn. Instead, take action and make sure that you’re getting your money’s worth. Take some time to consider the situation from your professor’s point of view before you do anything drastic. Sometimes, students simply weren’t prepared for the class or expected it to run a different way. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the professor doesn’t know what he or she is doing. Ask yourself: Was I really ready to take this course? Did I take all of the pre-requisites? Was I expecting the course to be a breeze? Have I thoroughly reviewed all of the course material? Was I expecting that I could skip work or skim the textbook and still pass?

What to do if your professor is not a good teacher

Some student that thrive in a traditional school environment struggle when they don’t have the same structure, no matter how good the professor is. You still feel that the professor is at fault, then move on to the next step after reflecting on situation. The best way to resolve conflict at the university level is to simply address the offending professor privately. A phone meeting or virtual conference is better than email for such sensitive discussions in most of the cases. Frame your issues as concerns that you need help with. Try not to be overly aggressive or put the professor in a defensive position. In many cases, professors appreciate the honest feedback and are happy to assist.  You’ll be less likely to receive help in case you skip talking to the professor and go straight to an administrator. The professor will probably feel upset that you went over his head and the administrator is likely to direct you back to the professor. The next best thing you can do is simply withdraw from the online class. Most universities have the same course taught by many different professors, so save yourself the headache and find someone that is better prepared to meet your needs. You could file complaints or make a big fuss, but these actions are less likely to actually help you if there’s still time to withdraw. Make sure that the withdrawal deadline hasn’t passed and that you can remove the course from your schedule without receiving a failing grade before you stop doing your assignments. The course must be dropped through an online program or through the registrar’s office; don’t assume that the instructor will remove you from the rolls just because you’re not showing up.