Center for Teaching Excellence

Communicating with Students

During any disruption with your class, you should over communicate—early and often— with your students. They will be wondering what is happening and how class will continue. You will want to let them know about all of the changes to class from scheduling to assignments to your overall expectations.

Early and Often

Even if you do not have all the details worked out, let students know that you are working on it and will keep them regularly updated. Not only can frequent communication help ease the anxiety and uncertainty they may be feeling, but communication can help smooth the transition by letting students know the details and expectations for their learning to continue.

Managing the Communication Load

In the transition to an online environment, you will likely have an increased communications load that will need to be managed. Not only will you not be able to answer questions in class as you normally would, but the transition will create additional questions. Email and the Announcements feature in Canvas are available to stay in touch with your students.

Establish Communication Expectations

Within the online environment, it is critical to let students know how frequently and through what communications channels you will be in contact with them. Let them know if you will be emailing them or posting information in Canvas. Additionally, inform your class of how quickly they can expect a response from you.