Module 7: Professional Communication

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Module 7: Professional Communication

This module will discuss Professional Communication in Online Learning.

How are your notes looking? Be sure to continue jotting down notes as you move through this module.

We will cover how to appropriately compose professional emails to instructors, dual credit advisors and other college staff using the T.H.I.N.K. method.

T.H.I.N.K. stands for thoughtful, helpful, intentional, noble, and knowledgeable.

So T stands for “Thoughtful”. When you write an email, think about whether the words you use are “thoughtful”: Do the words in your email represent your professionalism? Do your words prove that you considered the reader? Did you think about your audience and the purpose of your email?

The H in T.H.I.N.K. is for “helpful”. So you might ask yourself: Will the reader find the words in my email helpful? Will my words help the reader feel supported or abandoned? Will the email enable the reader to get closer to reaching related goals?

The I is for “Intentional”. Do the words in the email serve a purpose? Will the words in the email motivate the reader?

The N in T.H.I.N.K. is for “noble”. For example: Do the words in your email serve an ethical purpose? Are you a reputable source?

And the K is for “knowledgeable”. Is the author of the email (or you) well-informed? Are the words sophisticated and understandable? Do the words show mastery of the email topic?

When writing a professional email, keep in mind T.H.I.N.K. : Thoughtful, Helpful, Intentional, Noble, and Knowledgeable.

Okay, it’s time for an example.

Is this email using the THINK Method? The answer is NO.

For one, it does not address the person you’re trying to communicate with in the body of the email.

Add a subject to your email. Your reader should have an idea what you are emailing them about before opening the email.

Second, it's not clear what homework help is needed.

Start with a salutation. “Good morning”, “hello Professor Smith,” etc.

Be concise with what you are trying to convey. Be direct and specific in your emails so the reader can accurately respond to you.

Finally, the recipient will not know who this is from because there is no name or class student ID number included in the email.

Identify yourself by signing off with your name.

Identify yourself when communicating with an advisor or instructor using your college ID number or the class you are in so the reader can better identify you.

Let’s go over some simple rules of Netiquette (or internet etiquette).

In an online community, you present yourself and learn about others through written words.

Remember that things may “sound” harsher less friendly when the reader cannot see your smile or the twinkle in our eye.

Try to communicate your thoughts and ideas simply, but effectively.

And always strive to present yourself in a positive light.

Keep the following in mind when posting online, sending emails, or even on your eCampus discussion boards: Format your posting so that it is easy to read. Don’t write everything in uppercase (capital letters) because that means SHOUTING.

Plan your messages ahead so that you don’t ramble.

Use meaningful subject lines that give the reader a clear indication of what you are writing about.

Be clear; Don’t use abbreviations or acronyms that others may not understand.

Always double check for “Text Message” speak like lower case “I” and “U” or “K”

Read your messages over to be sure they are professional and polite and be sure to utilize your computer’s spell check features.

Be sure to reread what you have written to catch errors that spell checkers may have missed.

Avoid “flaming” or sending angry or abusive messages.

Time for another example...

Is this email using the THINK method? The answer is YES! It has all the elements of a professional email.

It's addressed to who it is for and has a welcoming statement.

It includes a subject line to know what the email is about and detailed information in the body.

It includes a signature and identifies who is sending the email with the class and section number.

That’s the end of your Professional Communication module. If you have any questions about dual credit that wasn’t answered here, or you just need more clarification, please contact your high school counselor or your Dallas College dual credit office.

Module 7 Questions

Please watch the video above before proceeding.