Communicate with your Students.

<< Remote Teaching Checklist


Communication is Key

Consider student needs and circumstances before the course begins to check your assumptions and guide your decision making about course design and delivery.

Consider Sending an Email to Check on Student Well-Being and Circumstances (Maslow’s before Bloom’s)

2. Think of regular whole class and private communications as an essential activity in your role as a remote instructor. Messages, announcements, course/email are a primary way you make your social and teaching presences felt by students. Digital communications promote trust, group cohesion, interaction, and a sense of community.  

Consider options and the need for regular communications with your students before and after the course begins. What Communications & Announcements Can You Envision/Plan?

  • What types of communications will your students need, and when - before, during and after the course?
  • Can you draft/prepare any of them to have them ready?
  • Getting Started - 2 weeks before the course begins/goes live download your roster and send a note.
  • Draft a Welcome message to send as each student appears in the course.
  • Post an opening announcement for students to see as they enter the course.
    • Draft Announcements for the opening of each course module.
    • Draft weekly announcements for the other weeks, to reinforce activities, participation, due dates, etc.
    • Mid semester send students an encouraging personalized private note on their progress in the course, to make sure they feel your presence.
    • End the course with a farewell email to bring closure to the experience for all participants.

3. Set Up Virtual Office Hours. You can use synchronous, asynchronous, or a combination of both approaches for your office hours. The most important thing is to make sure that your students know how to reach you, when, and by what means. Make sure that you provide  clear information regarding the options and expectations pertaining to your virtual office hours.

Consider how will you meet with students to conduct office hours.

  • Use synchronous office hours to check-in with the student on their progress in the course/with projects, provide feedback on work/progress, provide the option for drop-in or scheduled appointments for students to get extra help, or to discuss issues privately with you, etc. With the synchronous platform of zoom, or Collaborate, you can use the text chat, audio, and video features to talk one-on-one with your students. These synchronous platforms have features such as a whiteboard, and have screen sharing capability, so you and/or the student can view materials, share images, or draw diagrams. You can also use the session to provide private critique of student work, or listen to a student oral presentation or demonstration.
  • You can use email, or use the asynchronous private communications tools within your LMS to have private conversations with your students.
    • Provide and promote detailed instructions on how to reach you.
    • Establish a regular schedule in advance.
    • Document expectations on response time and the process they should follow to set up an appointment with you, including the process for cancellation.
    •  Keep the schedule and be on time.

Synchronous and Asynchronous Communication: Advantages and Disadvantages

Communicating Effectively with Online Students

Are you ready to learn online? - for students.

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