Classroom or Course Issues

What do I call my instructor?

You can check the course outline to see the name and title your instructor or professor uses. Usually your instructor will tell you how they like to be addressed during your first class, but if in doubt, use Dr. or professor if applicable. Don’t be afraid to ask if you are unsure!

I have commitments during my instructor’s office hours, can I meet them at a different time?

Office hours are time slots guaranteed by your instructor to be available, but they may be available at other times. Email your instructor and ask to set up an appointment, they would likely be happy to meet with you! You can find their email address on the course outline or visit if they are a faculty member. In your email, be polite and professional, and indicate what days and times you are available and why you want to meet.

What do I do if I have an important question but my instructor has not replied to my emails?

Please check the course outline to see if the instructor has an alternate email or phone number for emergencies.

Send a polite email reminder if you get no response after 48 hours, or if the situation is truly urgent. Remember that your instructor has a life away from school, just like you do, and sometimes they cannot answer emails immediately.

What do I do after failing an important part of my class (test, assignment, etc.)?

There are a couple of things you can do if you failed an important part of your class.

1.    Talk to your instructor and ask to review your test or assignment together. You can ask how you can improve next time, and make sure to follow through. Ensure you understand the grading rubric going forward.

2.    Look into getting a tutor early in the semester by contacting Tutoring Services.

3.    Get advice from your academic advisor regarding your academic options, especially if you are considering dropping or withdrawing from the course. They will be able to tell you how it may affect your program and work through program planning options with you.

4.    Lastly, ask your instructor if you can do an extra assignment to try to make up some marks. (Note: this is usually impossible but may be worth a try!)

What can I do if I am constantly studying but still struggling in a course?

It can be very frustrating to put in time and still not do well! Talk to your instructor to see if there is something you are missing. You could also try to get a tutor (either free or paid) or form a study group with other students in your class.

The Calgary Campus academic advisors would be happy to meet with you and go over some of your options for services like accommodations, study skills, and tutoring.

I just received a bad grade on my writing assignment, what do I do now?

Ask the instructor where you went wrong and how you could have improved your assignment. If you have a grading rubric or chart for the course, review it with your instructor and make sure you understand where the marks are coming from. This will help you in future assignments as well!

Contact a librarian for help on how to research a topic and how to do proper citations. You can ask questions via text, email, IM or phone. Visit their website here:

Consider taking Writing 1000 Introduction to Academic Writing if it fits in your program. You can contact your academic advisor to see if it will work for you!

The Calgary Campus also has a Writing Center. The Writing Centre provides 1-1 in-person consultations with trained academic writing tutors for students, and will offer practical writing support to help students better develop their academic writing skills. This is a free service accessible to all Calgary campus students. Check out available days and times here:

Is there a final exam in my course? If there is, how do I know when it is scheduled?

Check the course outline, or ask your instructor if you are still unsure.

What are my options if one of my team members is not meeting their obligations for a project?

First, assign that person a specific task to do and provide a fixed deadline. 

If you are comfortable with it, have one member of the team talk to the person in private to explain how the problem is affecting you, the group, and the project. Listen to what your group member has to say, as there may be issues or external factors affecting their ability to complete their work that you do not realize. As a group, come up with a fair action plan that is achievable to finish the remaining work.  

If the problem persists, talk to your instructor about the issue.

There are always people talking around me in class and I can't hear the instructor, how can I get them to stop?

This is a frustrating problem for both students and instructors. Your first option is to politely ask the students to stop or to move to a seat near the front of class. If that doesn't work, let your instructor know, either in person or via email. It is then up to the instructor to deal with the issue.

I come to class straight from work (or other commitments) and I don’t have time to eat dinner. Can I eat in class?

Most instructors won't mind if you eat in class providing your food is not messy, noisy or smelly. Many of your fellow students are also coming from work and they will be in the same situation. If you have a specific reason you need to eat in class, let your instructor know (e.g., low blood sugar/hypoglycemia).

Is it a problem if I'm always late for class because sometimes I have to work late/rush hour traffic is bad/transit is slow/etc.?

This can be a problem as being late for class means you are missing parts of the lecture and disrupting the class by entering late.

Try talking to your boss about leaving a few minutes early on evenings that you have class so that any traffic/transit/other delays won’t impact your arrival time. If this is simply not possible, speak to the instructor of your class and explain your situation. When you are late to a class, enter quietly and do not disrupt the lecture or your fellow students.

How do I order textbooks?

We have created a guide for our students on textbook ordering that can be found here