Published on March 18, 2014
Week 3: Communicating online
The videos from Curt Bonk at IU (posted in Moodle) cover the basics of instructor communication and building community online. This lesson will apply his concepts to your course, and cover resources available to you to enhance communication in your online classroom.
What to communicate - Week One: *Basic course structure (e.g. “each module will begin Monday at 9am, all assignments will be due Monday morning at 2am,” etc). *Any dates where there are gaps (spring break, holidays, etc). *How to navigate the course. *Office hours and how to reach you (and times/dates you are unavailable).
What to communicate - Week One: *Your timeline for responding to emails/voicemails. *Grading scale. *How grades will be communicated, and how often grades will be updated. *Textbooks and readings to purchase or find.
*Expectations for online behavior. *Expectations for written communication & writing style. *Who to contact with tech problems. *Who to contact with disability/accessibility questions and concerns. *Tech needs - software requirements, programs to install, skills. What to communicate - Week One:
Communication & Student Grades: *Use of Moodle Gradebook is highly recommended. *If not using Moodle for grades, tell students the first day of class how often grades will be sent to them. *Contact students via email or phone who do not submit work the first week of the course.
Synchronous vs Asynchronous: *Students value the flexibility of taking online classes, so asynchronous communication is beneficial and should be the primary mode of communication. *There might be times you want to do a group lecture or discussion with the whole course. *To accommodate varying schedules, offer multiple timeslots of chats and groups lectures.
Moodle tools for Communicating: *Quickmail - Moodle email. *Moodle chat - Hold a live chat session (Moodle chat does not include video). *Discussion Forums - use for announcements, questions & answers, and student discussion involving application, analysis, synthesis, and reflection.
Online discussion protocols: *Explain the who, what, where, why, and so what of the discussion. *Define what role the student plays in discussion. *Communicate how the discussion will be evaluated. *Post expectations for grammar & spelling (is text speak allowed?).
Other tools for Communicating: *Zoom - a video lecture platform the program has purchased for you to use. *Screencasting tools - introduced last week, use free programs like Screencastomatic to create video short lectures. *SurveyMonkey or PollEverywhere are free sites you can use for creating polls to garner feedback.
Tasks for This Week: *Set up communication tools in your course: add the quickmail block, try out a Moodle chat session, and set up at least one forum. *Review Moodle gradebook features. If your syllabus is prepared, work on setting up your gradebook to match. *Respond to the forum question.