Friday, December 12, 2008


How often do you communicate with your students? Do you communicate differently with different students? Is your communication style different for face-to-face instruction and online instruction and blended instruction? Here are some general tips, for use in instruction. I believe these ideas could work regardless of the instructional context.
  • Communicate with your students often!
  • Send out a weekly reminder of what is expected, due dates and other relevant course information. This reminder may also serve as an organizer and planner for the student (and instructor) for the class academic requirements, readings, assignments for the week.
  • When you receive an assignment email the student and let them know it has been received. This may reduce some anxiety on the part of the student. It will also provide you with a list of who has NOT submitted their assignment.
  • Clearly communicate your policies on turn around ... for instance, emails will be responded to within 24 hours, unless it is the weekend or holiday, in which case emails will be responded to by the next school day.

A "good" course is ...

After being asked the question, "What is a good course?" and thinking about the characteristics of a good course, here are some:
  • Good courses are organized. Students know what they are doing, what they need to read, and what they are expected to know.
  • Good courses offer students opportunities to do something with their newly acquired knowledge: contribute to a discussion, write a paper.
  • Good course provide students with opportunities to grow and learn, through feedback and through challenging assignments.
  • Good courses promote and encourage discussion, between students and with faculty. Students want to ask questions, and have questions answered. Questions are used to probe for knowledge and understanding.
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