When a student submits an assignment in an incorrect format that I cannot review, I normally “ignore” the assignment and then send an email asking the student to resubmit it in the correct format. Usually, my students realize their mistake and resubmit the assignment, and then I review and grade it.

But every now and again, I receive an email from a student in this situation asking why I did not grade their assignment.

When this happens, I send them a reply explaining why I “ignored” their assignment, and then ask, “did you not receive the email I sent you?”

The reply is often, “Email? No, I didn’t receive any email.” Then they ask if I sent the email to their personal email address. This is where the misunderstanding originates.

As much as I would like to accommodate every student by sending messages to their personal email account, I cannot possibly keep up with that list. It is much simpler to send email to a student’s email account. This is also where all email messages from the school will go.

Here is how it works.

At most universities and colleges, you are given a student email address when you register for classes. It is usually something like joe.smith@university.edu.

This is the email address connected to your account at the school and in the Learning Management System (LMS), such as Blackboard or Desire 2 Learn. When an instructor sends an email to a student from within the course, like I do when there is a problem with an assignment, it goes to that email account.

As a student, it is your responsibility to check your student email account. Fortunately, you have a couple of options to ensure you never miss an important message.

The first is the simplest; you log in to the school website and check your school email account on a regular basis. Easy enough, you just need to get in the habit of doing it.

The second way is to set up your school email account to forward to another email account that you already check regularly. This is the way I suggest if possible, and it can be done when you set up your school email account. You can also contact the school’s technical support to help you with this.

The bottom line is to set up your email account in the way that works best for you and get in the habit of checking it on a regular basis, so you don’t miss any messages from your instructor.

As I said above, it is your responsibility.

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