Effective Communication and Enhanced Student Engagement
Teachers’ communication strategies in online and blended environments are a significant determinant of students’ performance and learning outcomes.
We have collected some tips on how to establish an online teaching presence through effective communication:
- Develop teacher presence through directed facilitation, for example creating short videos that outline information about assessment, and wrap-ups or pre-lecture videos to introduce important concepts and address main questions. Also, it is a great idea to insert a brief welcome video where you introduce yourself, the key concepts, “mind map” about what will come in the course including the main topics, and your expectations of the students.
- Use weekly modules to arrange course content in a logical and orderly way. Provide students with a road map about these with a clear explanation of how and why the learning activities are connected. For example, construct your weekly topics in modules with pages that are clearly signposted as lectures and tutorials, both of which have subpages about lecture objectives, video preparations, readings, lecture slides, tutorial objectives, preparations, tutorial activities and links to discussion boards. This enables you to weave a narrative into the course structure and improve students’ engagement with the material and, in turn, improve student performance.
How to set up discussion boards and announcements - a few examples from MyUni:
- Post weekly clear announcements to generate your presence in online teaching - to build rapport, and let the students know what is required of them, and that you are actively monitoring and engaging with MyUni. Labelling the announcements with clear informative titles will help students process and sort the information quickly.
- Use Discussion Forums to provide a venue for peer to peer and student interaction with you. It will also provide a workload saving if you model the required behaviour and set clear expectations and instructions. Maintaining asynchronous interactions can contribute to students becoming a part of a vibrant learning community in which they can share their learning experience and participate actively.
Dr Hasti Abbasi, Learning Designer, LEI