Designing a Course - Providing Communication Channels
When you design a fully online course, it is important that you provide communication channels that allow Students and Section Instructors to interact with one another. Unlike being in a classroom course, members of a fully online course cannot rely on face-to-face interaction. Therefore, you can add communication tools, such as an electronic mail feature, chat rooms, and online discussions, which simulate or supplement face-to-face interaction.
You can use these tools to exchange feedback, offer opinions, provide guidance, and ask questions just as you would in a classroom course. The following communication tools are available:
Announcements. The Announcements tool allows Section Instructors to place important information in a prominent location in a course. You also have the option to let announcements appear as pop-up messages.
Chat. The Chat tool allows Students and Section Instructors who are in the same course to chat with one another in real time while they are in the course. They can also use the Whiteboard feature in Chat to draw objects, enter text, import images, and create slide shows that can be viewed in real time.
Discussions. The Discussions tool allows Students and Section Instructors who are in the same course to post messages and replies on specific topics relevant to the course. Section Instructors can also evaluate the quality of messages, just as they would evaluate Student participation in a classroom.
Mail. The Mail tool is an electronic mail feature that allows Students and Section Instructors who are in the same course to send messages and file attachments to one another.
- Who's Online. The Who's Online tool allows users who are logged in to the course system and enrolled in the same course to participate in chat sessions with one another. The Who's Online tool is similar to the Chat tool except it allows users who are enrolled in the same course to chat with each other outside of the course, from the My page.