I think we have three options. One is to say “you should already know the answer to that question” and carry on. One is to say “Please come to my office hours.” And one other is to recognize that, if we were in their situation, we too might miss something that is in a dense syllabus, just as we miss things in any other kind of instruction manual, and to take the time to be helpful, even if briefly. There is evidence that the connections which students make with faculty, even around questions that are answered in the syllabus, can have a lasting and meaningful impact.
How do you respond? How did professors respond to you? How, based on your experience, would you recommend that professors respond to questions that students should already know the answer to?