Communication Outside of the Classroom How and Why?
Why Communicate Online?
24/7 potential for interaction
Student involvement between f2f meetings
Deeper conversations for some
Allow everyone the chance to be “heard”
Online Communication Challenges
Awkward for most
Potential for miscommunication, misinterpretation
Conversations build slowly
Can be time consuming
What can you do online?
Discussion of reading assignments, (whole class or teams)
Role play exercises
Forums to ask guest "experts“ questions
Team project discussions
Reporting "field observations" from lab projects or internships
Scheduling office hours
Basic course Q&A
What tools do we have?
Life in the Forums…
Explicit directions are essential (what exactly to you expect students to do?)
Define what “good participation” looks like (act professional, post early)
Common Difficult Situations
No one posts
Finding a week’s worth of negative posts
One student “poisoning” the forums
Essay like posts, no real discussion
Strategies for Responding in Discussion Forums
Dealing with Negativity
Remind students of expectations and communication guidelines
Students need to be responsible for holding each other accountable and keeping communications civil
Communication from you Consider Tone and Presence
Tone “ Students will complete week three’s assigned readings and submit a three page reflective essay by Friday, May 26 th .”
Tone “ This week we’ll be reading two articles about ‘x’. While you read them, keep in mind the perspectives we explored last week and compare ‘x, y, and z’. By Friday, May 26 th turn in a reflective essay…”
“ System” Feedback
“ Upload Complete”
“Thank you for turning in your essay. To prepare for Wednesday’s class please read chapter 5 of the text. We’ll be discussing…”
Ways to Create the Feeling of Presence
“Check in” regularly
Frequent communication (even admin)
Use CMS Announcements
Use audio or video if appropriate
What else do you do?
In person? Online?
Set them up front to minimize chaos as the semester progresses
Expected levels of participation
Behavior in the forums
Language (r u there?)
Where to post off topic questions/ comments
Other things to consider
How will you contact students?
How and when may students contact you?
Will you hold office hours?
Online office hours in CMS (chat)?
What is a reasonable time frame for you to respond to students (via email, etc.)?