University of South Florida St. Petersburg Campus

Muma COB Graduate Student Online Resource Guide

Communication and Collaboration

Communication and Collaboration Skills

As an online student you will be communicating with your professor and fellow students in a variety of ways. This will most frequently be written communication, but in some instances verbal communication may be required. Examples include:

  • Emails through the USF Office365 system or through the Canvas Inbox
  • Discussion board participation
  • Web conferences or virtual classroom meetings
  • Group work tools in Canvas

In some courses, you may be required to complete work as part of a group. Working in a group through virtual means can be challenging, but will be excellent preparation for life after college.

Communicating with Faculty and Staff

  • Be proactive.
    Instructors only know if you are having problems (confusion, frustration) if you speak up when problems arise. If you are experiencing difficulty on any level (either with the technology or with the course content), you must communicate this immediately. Otherwise the instructor will never know what is wrong.
  • Be open minded about sharing life, work, and educational experiences as part of the learning process.
    The online learning process requires introverts as well as extroverts to utilize their experiences. In addition to having time to reflect on information before responding, the online environment is open and friendly.
  • Be able to communicate through writing.
    Most online communication is written, so it is critical that you feel comfortable expressing yourself in writing. Writing abilities can be improved before the online experience using student support services.
  • Think ideas through before responding.
    Meaningful and quality input in a course is an essential part of the learning process. Time is given to allow for the careful consideration of responses. The testing and challenging of ideas is encouraged; be prepared to accept a challenge and respond with analysis and responses supported by data.
  • Accept critical thinking and decision making as part of the learning process. 
    The learning process requires you to make decisions based on facts as well as experience. Assimilating information and executing the right decisions requires critical thought.
  • Learn more about how to think critically at:
  • Adhere to Academic Integrity Standards
    See the Dean of Students comments on Academic Integrity -
  • There are academic support service resources and tutorials on communication and writing at the USF St. Petersburg campus Debbie Nye Sembler Student Success Center  
  • There are also extensive resources at the USF St. Petersburg campus Library