This post will provide strategic tips that will help you articulate what you should to your professor.
1. Introduce yourself.
In many classrooms, people are often counted as numbers with little professional interactions. While you'll probably be given the opportunity to introduce yourself in front of the class, it's nice to step out of the bubble and introduce yourself to the instructor in the class. Use your school email of course! Tell him or her what motivates you to succeed, share why you are pursuing your degree and what you expect to learn from the course. Ask for suggestions that will help you learn what is being taught. Most likely, the instructor will recognize that you have genuine interest in what's being taught, and he or she will be willing to share advice and resources that will benefit you.
2. Get advice on the industry they teach on.
Instructors usually teach on a course that they have completed a degree in. Most likely, they also participate in research regarding the industry they teach. So, they know a thing or two about the industry you're studying. You should ask relevant questions regarding your field, such as connections to people you should touch base with, so you can get a day-in-the-life experience. Ask questions such as 1) how can I get in touch with leaders of this field? 2) what events/resources/groups should I join to further my interests? 3) how do I contribute to this field? As you continue to gain connections in your industry while you're in school, you'll have access to valuable information that will benefit you in your career.
3. Let them know about your homework progress.
The key word here is to communicate when you're at loss for directions or are aware that you're going to be late for an assignment. Send an email with the relevant excuse so the instructor can take note and be prepared to grade your assignments when you submit them. Also, ask questions if you would like to be creative and submit assignments in a different format than what they requested. Again, many instructors are happy to offer their expertise and be needed. Be sure to save all correspondence with your instructor in a separate file, because if there's ever an outage and you need to reference the information your instructor told you, you'll have it.
4. Ask for letters of recommendation.
This is something for you to remember. Whether you're an on-campus or online student, you should make a request for a letter of recommendation from your instructor. Each instructor feels differently and are usually happy to attest to your character that you displayed in their classroom. If you demonstrated good study skills and participated during the semester, then indicate that in your request for a letter of recommendation along with the ultimate end goal - why you need the letter of recommendation. If your instructor is not willing to write a letter of recommendation, ask him or her to be available as a reference. This means that if a company wants to hire you and wants to speak to someone who can talk about your character, they can call your instructor.
Try to get at least four letters of recommendation for every semester you're enrolled in class. To recap, here are four things to say to your instructor: 1) introduce yourself directly, 2) get advice in their area of expertise, 3) let them know about your homework progress, and 4) ask for letters of recommendation.