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5 Tips To Get Back On Track When You Miss Your Class
Uh oh, you just woke up, and the alarm clock did not go off when it was supposed to so you could make it to your early class. Now you need to catch up with the missed class activities and avoid late assignment penalties. Here are five things you can do that may help.
Email the Instructor
Send your instructor a polite message, using your full name, course name and number, and a courteous tone. While you could call the faculty member during office hours, an email provides a written record of your contact along with the date and time. Explain briefly what happened and apologize, mentioning how you will avoid future absenteeism, such as double-checking your alarm or setting a backup alarm. Ask if there were announcements, updates, or syllabi changes that you should be aware of. If you request a phone call response, mention the best times to reach you and whether it’s okay to leave a voicemail if you are unable to answer.
Review the Posted Lecture Notes
Many instructors post lecture notes before or after each class on an online course platform like Blackboard or Brightspace. Some faculty use their department webpage or a personal website for teaching materials. If you know where to find the lecture notes, review them and write questions for the instructor at the next class. If you aren’t aware of lecture notes being posted, ask in your explanatory email.
Contact a Classmate for Details
Assuming the class list of students is accessible or you are already in contact with one or more classmates via social media or texting, contact someone you feel comfortable talking to and inquire about the missed class activities. Even though you are also asking the instructor for information that was announced in class, another student might offer the same information through the student’s perspective of due-dates, grading criteria, upcoming assignment details, and so on.
Catch Up All Due Assignments
Review the readings that were to be covered in the class that you missed. Complete the assignments that were due or those that have an upcoming due-date. Make a note of any questions that you can ask the instructor, along with questions about the lecture notes, when you attend the next class. If your questions are many or detailed, send another email to the instructor or wait to send your first email until you have reviewed the course materials and assignment criteria.
Arrive Early or Stay Late at the Next Class
Plan to get to the next class a few minutes early or be prepared to stay after class for a bit to ask questions, if the instructor is willing to answer them during these before-or-after times. If not, make an appointment to meet during office hours to discuss your questions. Don’t let this go too long, as it will be harder to keep up with the ongoing lessons until you fully understand and complete the current work.
Investing some extra effort into staying on track with a missed class will benefit you and help to convince your instructor that you want to keep current with your coursework. Asking questions will have the same effect. Be proactive rather than reactive to overcome the potential setback of a missed class.
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