Student to Instructor Interactions
Research has demonstrated that the student-to-instructor interaction is important for student satisfaction and academic achievement in an online learning environment (Anderson, Lampley, & Good, 2013).
Student-instructor interaction in online learning environments play a crucial role in students’ learning experiences. Faculty and instructors can foster a positive interaction in an online environment through virtual office hours (Hooper, Pollanen, & Teismann, 2006), setting expectations for the course, and providing various communication channels (Martin, Wang, & Sadaf, 2018).
Considerations when engaging with your students
Below are some strategies that will help your students know how to engage with you, inside and outside of your virtual classroom.
- Creating a classroom community can reduce anxiety, motivate students, and is associated with greater satisfaction with the course. In the first week, create a video, introducing yourself and setting a positive tone for the course, and upload it to D2L Brightspace., opens in new window In this video, you can familiarize students with the learning path, the syllabus, course expectations and how to navigate the course hub.
- To build a classroom community, facilitate icebreakers for remote learning, external link, opens in new window and ask students to introduce themselves on a discussion board, opens in new window through D2L Brightspace or through web conferencing tools such as Zoom, opens in new window or Google, opens in new window.
- Let the students know how to get in touch with you. Set PDF fileexpectations and state boundaries , opens in new window(example: I will be checking your messages x times per week); they should not feel they have 24/7 access to you. You may want to consider ways to manage your class email, opens in new window.
- Keep your students updated by posting an announcement in D2L Brightspace, opens in new window or a video of yourself a couple of days prior to each week's class, with an agenda for the upcoming class, as well as due dates.
- Develop a course-related FAQ section, where students can post their course questions and you can respond, for all to see using a discussion board, opens in new window.
- One way to extend your teaching presence and still manage your time is through online "virtual office hours." Set a specific time each week for students to meet with you in real time through a chat room in your D2L Brightspace shell, opens in new window or web conferencing tools such as Zoom, opens in new window or Google Meet, opens in new window.You can also create bookable time slots in Google Calendar, opens in new window for students to reserve time to meet with you. Keep in mind you may have students in different time zones who will need to meet at another time.
- In a remote environment, it is possible that communications are misunderstood by students. To effectively manage your communication in a remote classroom, follow PDF filebest practices in online communication., opens in new window
- To understand students’ ability to participate in online learning, ask them to complete google docThe Student Technology Survey, external link, opens in new window
- To identify what is working, and what may need adjusting, in your course, consider conducting a mid-semester check-in with your students assessing their experience, using an anonymous google form, opens in new window.
- To support students with their learning, provide PDF filefeedback , opens in new windowthat is timely, non-judgemental, and gives students suggestions for improvement. This feedback can be provided using a PDF filerubric , opens in new windowthrough D2L Brightspace, opens in new window.
Teaching a large class?
Take a look at our guide to google docBuilding Community in Large Classes: Instructor Presence, external link for some tips.
Andersen, J. C., Lampley, J. H., & Good, D. W. (2013). Learner satisfaction in online learning: An analysis of the perceived impact of learner-social media and learner-instructor interaction. Review of Higher Education and Self-Learning, 6(21), 81–96. Retrieved from http://www.intellect base.org/RHESL.php
Hooper, J., Pollanen, M., & Teismann, H. (2006). Effective online office hours in the mathematical sciences. MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 2(3), 187-194.
Martin, F., Wang, C., & Sadaf, A. (2018). Student perception of helpfulness of facilitation strategies that enhance instructor presence, connectedness, engagement and learning in online courses. The Internet and Higher Education, 37, 52–65. doi:10.1016/j.iheduc.2018.01.003