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Encouraging Student-Faculty Contact

Page history last edited by Anne McKinney 15 years, 2 months ago



Developing Communication Expectations

In the Orienting Your Students section, we addressed the need to start your course on the right foot by sending a welcome message and communicating to your students how to begin and succeed in the online course setting. As the semester moves forward, you'll want to encourage them to communicate with you and feel "engaged" in the learning process.


Many pedagogical theorists argue that an important element of a successful distance course is interaction. Interaction with content, interaction with the instructor, and interaction with other students contribute to effective learning (Moore, 1989). Instructor interaction with students is also important (Jiang and Ting 2000). Richardson and Swan (2003) maintain that social learning is linked to student learning.


By these sources, then, we can reason that communication and discussion in online courses is just as beneficial (if not more so) to students as it is in f2f classes.


Discussion and interaction in online courses mean the difference between learning with a group and reading independently. (Of course, for the sake of our on-demand program, this makes our discussion forums all the more essential to learning, as reading pages on a website can only do so much to make the topic engaging to you. If you find yourself having difficulty maintaining interest in these pages, take a break from reading and join in the forums for the fuller, more interactive experience.)


Make it clear to your students how you want them to communicate with you. Clarifying your expectations for communication also means thinking about how to frame your expectations for students to interact with content and to communicate/interact with other students. In the next couple pages, we'll discuss methods for maintaining communication and interaction between you and your students.



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