• 1.Pros and Cons of Teacher-Student Communication:
    The teacher-student communication appears to be crucial chiefly in the e-learning courses, where the teacher-student contact is considerably limited. Moreover, what attests to the importance of the interaction is that it represents a motivating factor since self-study always tends to become rather humdrum after some time and needs to be given some fresh air. Finally, students need someone to answer their questions related to the subject matter as well as those pertaining to the ways of using the electronic material.

    However, the very communication and techniques of maintaining it to the desirable extent may also represent a hindrance when not handled properly. Teachers are therefore advised to motivate their students to ask questions and participate in discussions actively. On the other hand, assigning your students too many communication-involving tasks requiring a lot of participation on your part might eventually keep you rather busy. That is why agreeing on certain deadlines and rules usually proves useful.

  • 2.Communication Tools:
    • E-mail, group e-mail: E-mail represents the most reliable mode of communication between teachers and their students since both the groups are required to retrieve it. This is also the reason why you should use it when sending your students the information you consider important.
      Tip: Before entering the Teacher's Notebook of a course, you can select one or more filters to limit the number of students your e-mail will be sent to.
    • Notebook: The notebook allows you to enter the student's score or any other information you want to communicate to him/her into a text field adjacent to his/her name. The notebook itself can be configured to be either accessible or inaccessible to students.
      For further information on this application, please see the Help section.
    • Course discussion group: This application can be utilized for discussing the issues related to the organization of the course under which it has been created, or a concrete topic. Teachers are allowed to moderate the discussion by deleting the contributions they consider irrelevant.
      For further information on this application, please see the Help section.
      Tip: It is advisable to clearly delineate the topic (goal) of the discussion and specify the rules governing it.
    • Sub-syllabus or discussion thread titled as 'News': Provided you are changing a syllabus of your course, it proves convenient to keep all the information on the changes involving, for instance, information sources, students' duties, etc. in one place. If you do not plan to post a large amount of this information in the future, you can start making it public utilizing a sub-syllabus, which can be displayed to students as expanded by default (a mode you yourself can enable). The advantage of using a sub-syllabus is that it is comparatively easy to navigate in. Provided you, however, expect the information to be extensive, it is advisable to post it under a discussion thread and ask your students to only read it, but not contribute to it.
    • Folder titled Course-Related Instructions situated in the Study materials section: Provided your communication with your students entails the use of large files (or long texts), please make sure you upload them into this folder and instruct the students to keep track of its contents.
  • 3.Inter-Student Communication:
    Teachers may foster the inter-student communication by encouraging their students to cooperate with one another, creating discussion threads for common projects, posting references to relevant Web sites, etc.
  • 4.Other Uses of Discussion Groups:
    Discussion groups also enable teachers to use some threads for teaching purposes. Provided the course has been enrolled in by lots of students, it is advisable to divide them into groups (the seminar groups created under the course may perfectly serve this purpose) and assign a discussion thread to each of these.

    Here are two model situations demonstrating other possible uses of discussion groups:

    • A teacher regularly posts under a certain thread some problems that he/she wants his/her students to solve and rewards them for correct solutions as well as well-founded criticism of someone else's solution.
    • A teacher asks each of his/her students to post a problem of his/her own (e.g. a chemistry experiment designed for a certain grade of elementary school) and assess the problems posted by the others. Eventually, the teacher evaluates the quality of the student's feedback.

    Utilizing discussion groups for the aforementioned activities proves useful when you have some experience of moderating your students' discussion since each of them may make multiple contributions and the total number of these may turn out to be rather overwhelming. If this is not the case, you might want to use homework vaults or e-surveys instead.

Provided you have failed to find the information you were searching for, you can contact us at pcuis(zavináč/atsign)fi(tečka/dot)muni(tečka/dot)cz.