Contacting your students:
Until the Add/Drop deadline for the semester, 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.
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).
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)