We have all heard this at some point in almost any situation, but in college, good communication between educators and students really is essential. Not meeting face to face on a daily basis can be a disadvantage when it comes to students keeping up with assignments and current issues related to the class, and utilizing resources.
Students are always online. Most of them actually have the web at their fingertips at any given point of the day. For this reason, it is clear that the internet is one of the best forms of communication with college students. There are many ways to utilize the technology that is everywhere to easily communicate with your students and enrich their educational experience in your course. Here are a few examples of ways to keep your students updated on announcements, assignments, and current issues that you find relevant to class.
Blogging is something we have all heard about, but most of us remain wary about it. I, myself, was one of those people until I started doing it, and realized it’s fun!
Blogging is a great way to establish consistent communication with your students. Post updates about current issues that are relevant to what is being discussed in class, and use incentives for your students to post back. It’s a great way for them to be involved in the class without actually being in class. Try Google’s free Blogger, or a blog meant to be used for educational purposes, like Edublog.
Wikis are another great way to promote student involvement outside of the classroom. A wiki is basically a website where visitors can actually participate in creating and editing information. There are a variety of ways you, as educators, can incorporate this into your class; post and brainstorm different topics, give students a place to collaborate and share assignments and materials, assign each student a small part of a large, ongoing project, or create a student-published online resource center. Try the wiki feature in eDocs, Wikispaces or Wetpaint.
Twitter may seem as though it has no purpose in a college classroom, but professors utilizing Twitter often have a good following by their students. Educators are able to share events as soon as they occur. Again, this is a great way to establish and maintain a connection outside of the classroom and keep students updated on issues relevant to class!
You will be surprised how much feedback and participation you receive from students when you prove yourself technically savvy and incorporate these tools into your class. I know I appreciate when a teacher of mine actively posts updates on their website or via other easily accessible forms of communication. If you have any questions or need any assistance incorporating these tools into your course, we would be happy to help!