Teaching Hub

Managing Communication in Online Courses

by Alecia Chatham, Department of Modern Languages and Classics

I communicate with all students via e-mail and Blackboard announcements. I upload all information, handouts, and useful links to Blackboard for all of my courses.

Another great way to use online resources for any type of course is by creating a place for students to check an up-to-date weekly agenda that outlines exactly what is happening in class with detailed assignments. A weekly agenda can be created by making a tab to the left in red on blackboard just beneath the course homepage, where such information can be deposited.

Many think that this is the purpose of the outline of topics on a syllabus, but having an outline that is updated weekly throughout the course, even if it is similar to the syllabus, allows for the correction of the inevitable and unavoidable deviations from the schedule that occur every semester. It also allows the instructor to make changes that are tailored to each class (i.e., adding in fun activities for classes that are working hard or more exercises for the ones that are falling behind).