An unintended consequence of the ubiquitous use of email for online course communication is that some faculty believe students now seem to expect 24/7 access to their instructors. Emails come from students at all hours of the day and night, and they seem to expect answers quickly. The purpose of this study was to determine the perceptions of college students in the field of education of how long they expect to wait for their online instructors to respond to their emails and how quickly they respond to emails from their online instructors. A voluntary, anonymous survey was sent to undergraduate and graduate education students enrolled in at least one online class during two semesters at a Midwest university in the United States. The results of the survey indicated that the vast majority of the students (91%) consider 24 hours an acceptably responsive return rate time, and the same majority (91%) reported they consider 24 hours an acceptably responsive time for them to return emails they receive from their online instructors.
Zhang, C., Hurst, B., & McLean, A. (2016). How Fast is Fast Enough? Education Students’ Perceptions of Email Response Time in Online Courses. Journal of Educational Technology Development and Exchange (JETDE), 9(1). https://doi.org/10.18785/jetde.0901.01