3.6. Student Communication

Regular communication is critical to effective learning, especially in dual-mode courses and in the event of significant disruption..  Important announcements and reminders need to be shared between the instructor and all students.  This requires an intentional effort to connect with both on-campus and remote students.  One recommendation is to send out regular communications to students in a robust and easily archived way.  For example, if you plan to send a weekly roundup email every Thursday evening, this helps you be accountable for regular communication and gives students an additional sense of structure.

Items that can be helpful to include in a regularly scheduled message:

  • A brief review / preview of the content covered during class
  • Upcoming deadlines or events (exams, project milestones, an especially long reading assignment, etc.)
  • Items that connect the course content to real-world applications
  • Details regarding the class meeting locations (include a Zoom link if relevant) and time
  • Reminders regarding office hours
  • Include a personal connection to the students. Indicators of empathy, shared experiences in class, and/or light-hearted insights can help to strengthen instructor presence in the course. 

Technology options:

  • Email.  Use the auto-generated listserv (available via Online Photos) to send a message out to all class participants.
  • Sakai Announcement.  Use the announcement tool to send and archive messages to students. If using this, be sure to select the option to send the message out via email.  Students will then have access via two methods: ND email and Sakai.
  • Additional third-party apps may also be used to send messages to students.  Please note:  If an app is not supported by OIT, there is no university support available should you encounter issues.  Be sure that all students have access. Email and Sakai Announcements are the preferred methods of communication.