Communication and interaction between you as the instructor and your students, and among the students themselves, are key to a successful online learning experience. Well-designed and facilitated communications contribute to teaching, cognitive, and social presence in an online class.
Since you may not meet your online students in person, instructor to student and student to student communication is critical to helping students stay on track and learn effectively. In addition to discussing course content we recommend that online instructors provide prompt feedback to students in the gradebook, via email, and in discussions. Feedback that is timely, constructive, and supportive increases student satisfaction and achievement.
- Provide a clear overview of the course and the best way for students to get started.
- Set realistic expectations for your availability and how quickly you will respond to emails and/or questions posted in discussions. Do not set yourself up to be available 24/7.
- Provide opportunities for students to get help with coursework virtually (e.g., Google Meet, Skype, phone).
- Acknowledge learner contributions publicly and/or privately.
- Provide prompt feedback.