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Communicating effectively with online learners
Published on August 31, 2020 8 min
Other Talks in the Series: Online Learning for Business Education
Series introduction: fundamentals in online learning
- Ms. Rowena Hennigan
- Lecturer and Corporate Trainer, TU Dublin, Ireland
My name is Dr. Frances Boylan, and I'm the Head of eLearning Support and Development at Technological University Dublin, Ireland. Communicating effectively with online learners is a focus of this talk.
You communicate with your face-to-face students on a constant basis about everything and anything, and it comes naturally. For the most part that communication is in the form of a conversation, or a discussion, and in person. But you could forget to communicate with your online or blended learning students at the same level as you do your face-to-face students, because you're just not seeing them physically at all or as often. The purpose of this talk is to step back, and review all of the different reasons for which you communicate with students. Then consider the different mediums through which you could do it with your online students.
There's a lot of information that we need to give our students above and beyond the content of the course itself. We communicate with them constantly for administrative purposes. This is the first reason for communicating that we're going to consider.
Use the announcements tool in your virtual learning environment or learning management system to post short reminders about which contents to have reviewed by which date, or reminders to post in the discussion board before a deadline, or reminders to submit formative or submit assessments by the due date. These announcements can keep the students on track, and keep them connected to the course and to you. If they use the mobile app associations with your VLE, they may get these notifications of the announcements. That ensures that they don't miss them. Be careful not to overuse this tool though, as your students will start to ignore announcements if you post too many of them each week. A weekly e-mail at the start of the week,