During the times when on campus classes are disrupted for institutions, it’s important to know how to encourage student communication online. With regular communication and touch points, you’ll be able to facilitate collaboration and discussion within your online classroom.
Don’t panic, we’ve got you covered with these 4 tips to boost student communication online:
1) Communicate at least 5 times per week
You can choose to either use your learning management system or WebAssign to communicate with your students on a regular basis. WebAssign allows you to create and schedule class announcements and send out private messages to your students.
If your students are having trouble with certain topics or assignments, you can also enable the Ask Your Teacher function to allow students to directly message you within an assignment or problem. This will allow you to see the exact assignment and problem they’re working on and support them effectively. communicating and responding to questions at least 5 times per week, you will make sure that your students know that you’re there for them.
Pro Tip: You can even receive email notifications for Ask My Teacher messages, so be sure to enable this in your course so you never miss a message.
2) Offer online office hours
In a digital environment, students often feel isolated and may get easily frustrated when they can’t figure out how to solve a problem. One way to create a positive and collaborative learning environment for them is to offer online office hours.
Set and notify your students of the times you’ll be available for office hours and utilize the Ask Your Teacher feature or private messages in WebAssign to answer any questions they may have. If you’d like to further encourage engagement, require attendance for at least one office hours session to make sure students are utilizing them. You can make it work for you and you students will thank you!
3) Assign group work
A good tip to encourage student communication online and help them feel less isolated is to offer group work! Group work within WebAssign encourages students to tackle an assignment or scenario as a team and gives them an opportunity to collaborate outside of the traditional classroom. You can easily create group assignments in WebAssign and choose the groups intentionally or randomly.
But, don’t forget some of these best practices:
- Groups should ideally have 3 students each
- Group members should have designated roles
- Students should work in different groups during the term to foster a stronger exchange of ideas
- Group diversity is an advantage – include a mix of lower and higher performing students so they can support one another.
4) Encourage discussion
WebAssign lets you create as many online discussion forums as you want. When you set up discussion forums, make sure you outline your expectations to students, so they understand how to use them.
Open the door for your students to drive the discussion. Allow them to post questions about assignments, class topics or share study tools. And don’t forget to make their posts and responses to their classmates a required part of their grade to increase effectiveness.
The result? Your students will be more engaged in your course concepts, converse with one another and you may even see that your students are going to each other for questions, giving you some much needed time back in your day.
Looking for More WebAssign Tips?
Transitioning to a virtual or hybrid course is stressful – let us help! Keep in mind the following resources that are available to you.
- Explore more WebAssign peer tips, success stories & best practices here.
- Search topics in WebAssign Help for step-by-step how to’s and tutorials.
- Follow us on social media for timely WebAssign events and best practices throughout the semester.