Communication

Contacting your students:

Until the Add/Drop deadline on September 15th, your class lists may continue to change.

Faculty have expressed concern about new students registering in their course not having access to the email messages or content they have previously sent out to the class.

Did you know 

You can send a message to all of the students in your class directly from Moodle? The Moodle announcements tool that is automatically part of every Moodle course is a great way to send announcements and messages to your students. When you post an announcement it automatically emails the message to all of your students. It is also a great way to keep an ongoing record of all the communications you have sent to your class. This will allow students who are added to your course to view old announcements and all of your students can go back and review all of your messages at any time during the semester.

 

Talk early, talk often. Let your students know what you’re planning. Without creating panic, invite your students into your conversations about ways forward.  

Ensure students know how to contact you and that you have their proper contact details. Ensure students know how to contact one another. Consider making alternative modes of contact available. 

If you have an established pattern and channel of contact, continue to use that. If not, now is the time to establish this.  

Talk to your students about their level of connectivity and digital engagement.  

Consider that many students may be accessing content primarily or solely on their phones. 

Ideally, use Moodle announcements, discussion boards, university email. Using what’s already in place saves your energy for other tasks.  

Think about hosting virtual office hours.      

 

Create a Communication Plan

Once you have identified communication channels for you and your students, their accessibility needs and type of communication asynchronous (not concurrent in time) vs synchronous (communication in real-time), consider how students will send you course-related questions and how you will respond to those questions. Remember this is important because you will not be available to answer questions face-to-face. Lastly, decide how assignment feedback will factor into your communication loop.  

Carefully walk your students through the plan and the course site. 

Asynchronous

Are synchronous meetings really needed? Disruptions that are major enough to force closures can also be major enough to significantly impact people’s schedules and availability (Moore & Hodges, 2020). 

Synchronous 

Is it really important that students be present live, at a specific time, for a lecture? If so, then try recording lectures students can listen to on their own time. Also set up reoccurring live sessions throughout the week where students can join you for virtual office hours to ask questions and get further guidance and support (Moore & Hodges, 2020)

Tools for Communication


Audio Visual Tools for Web Conferencing

If you are looking for microphones, headsets, or webcams for your web conferencing needs, take a look at these recommendations from IT.  These can be accessed via the SharePoint link below. All links direct you to the retailer where they can be purchased online.

Microsoft Office Suite

Outlook Email

Email may be the place you feel most comfortable. Consider building a mailing list per class to help manage your student addresses.  

How to create a distribution list from your contacts in Outlook 

Microsoft Teams

IT Services has implemented automatic class teams in Microsoft Teams. Starting on August 31, all fall 2020 classes will have a class team created in Teams. These class teams are being made available in response to requests for this functionality, and are optional for instructors to use.

To learn more visit: https://uleth.sharepoint.com/sites/working-remotely/SitePages/classes-in-teams.aspx

Zoom Web Conferencing

The University has secured licenses of Zoom to help with both synchronous delivery of classes as well as recording lectures for asynchronous delivery. Faculty can access their Zoom space by going to https://uleth.zoom.us and clicking on the Sign In button (login with your U of L credentials).

For more information and to access tutorials on how to use Zoom please visit: https://www.uleth.ca/teachingcentre/zoom

 

Polling Tools

The following tools can be used to poll your students remotely. However, not all tools are supported by the Teaching Centre.

Socrative

Immediate feedback is a vital part of the learning process. Socrative gives you just that for the classroom or office – an efficient way to monitor and evaluate learning that saves time for educators while delivering fun and engaging interactions for learners.

Socrative.com

Poll Everywhere 

Live polling for virtual meetings, events, classes, and conferences

Polleverywhere.com
Getting started 

Twitter 

Twitter Polls allow you to weigh in on questions posed by other people on Twitter. You can also easily create your own poll and see the results instantly.

Twitter.com
How to make a poll on Twitter