Effective staff-student and student-student communication is essential for the success of any unit, as it creates a presence and community.
Your unit may include a range of different communication strategies to engage your students in a variety of modes, some of these may be hidden until you decide whether you want to incorporate them into the delivery of your unit.
When choosing the most appropriate communication tool consider both the purpose and function, for example:
- Do you/or your students need to communicate in real time (synchronously)?
- Does the information need to be recorded or archived?
- Will the communication involve one-to-one, one-to-many, or many-to-many?
- Is there a need for urgency or immediacy or privacy?
Beyond the classroom, you may wish to provide consultations via these synchronous methods:
Unit information and reminders
Conveying unit information or reminders to students is an important aspect of unit management. Using either messages via the participants list or News forum/announcements makes this timely and easy to manage, as communication can be sent to the whole class, groups or selected individuals. If the communication is urgent, it is important to understand when and how this will be received by the student and factor this into your choice of communication.
Providing an opportunity for students to discuss topics can have an impact on their engagement and satisfaction in the unit, by providing spaces for communication and information sharing:
- discussion forums such as Q&A, weekly topics (asynchronous)
- wiki (asynchronous)
- virtual class room (synchronous).
Netiquette is also a helpful way to help students communicate more effectively and ensure students understand their roles and responsibilities and your expectations. For more information refer to netiquette and guidelines (Source: Teaching Online Course).