5 resources that will help you reconsider communication
and engagement for remote teaching.
‘Consider Communication & Engagement’ is a broad theme which recognises that communication plays a powerful role in student engagement and the facilitation of learning. These resources may be useful to as you reconsider communication and engagement in the context of Covid-19.
1. Set and communicate clear, unambiguous expectations
Moving to an online/blended learning delivery mode may mean that you need to adjust your communication style. As the amount of face-to-face interaction decreases it becomes even more important to establish clear lines of communication. Setting clear classroom expectations will motivate students to take personal responsibility to improve their learning and behaviour.
Step eight: communicate, communicate, communicate: This resource from Teaching in a Digital Age (2nd edition) by Tony Bates talks about the concept of “instructor presence”, setting students’ expectations, choice of medium for communication and managing online discussion.
2. Make module information clear and easy to find
The design and course structure should reflect the design of your learning outcomes. You may decide to organise it based on specific periods of time or based on course topics/themes. When designing your module, be sure you organise material in a way that will move the students through the material in a logical way.
Helping students navigate your online course: This resource from the Center for Learning Enhancement, Assessment and Redesign at the University of North Texas will help you to think about your online module structure and provides an example of an opening announcement for a module with navigation information.
3. #OpenTeach resources on Social Presence
The #Openteach project, funded by the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, aims to generate new knowledge about effective online teaching practice and to harness this new knowledge to support the professional development of online teachers and to more effectively support online student learning experiences.
This #OpenTeach resource on Social Presence (pdf) explains why it is important to establish social presence at the beginning of the course and to maintain this presence throughout the course. There is also a resource on Social Presence for larger classes (Word).
4. Building Community
Professors Share Ideas for Building Community in Online Courses: In this Inside Higher Ed article, you’ll find some tips for building community in your online courses.
Community building activities: Equity Unbound has teamed up with OneHE to develop some open educational resources for online community-building. Each resource includes a video describing or demonstrating the activity.
Enhancing Interaction in Live Online Classes: Based on our successful webinar in January 2021, the project team has developed a simple resource to support interaction in live online classes, with tips for educators on ways of interacting and breakout groups, and feedback from our student interns on what works for them.
5. Delivering an Engaging Online Course
A 40 minute video on ‘Delivering an engaging online course’ broken into 8 simple, practical tips – from the Centre for Teaching and Learning, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada. It is part of a series of videos they have produced for their staff about Teaching Online. While the video refers to teaching using Moodle, the tips could be applied to any VLE.