Use Digital Posters for Online Community Introductions

Description A sense of community within a course can increase student engagement, persistence, and performance (Rovai, 2002; Vesely, Bloom, & Sherlock, 2007). In asynchronous teaching, creating community can be challenging. Instructors can facilitate a sense of community by providing ways for students to introduce themselves to each other (Woods & Ebersole, 2003). Glogs (graphic blogs) …

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Use digital communication tools to enhance online communities of inquiry

Description Learning online may be an isolating experience which may lead to student attrition. Digital communication tools may help to enhance online communities of inquiry and address students’ feelings of social connectedness, perceived instructor presence, cognitive engagement, and persistence. Research shows that faculty use of various new media and communication tools (including social media) may …

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Use mobile communication technologies to increase students’ feelings of connectedness and instructor support

Description Use of mobile communication technology in the higher education setting is still a relatively new area of study. On brick and mortar campuses, students who have face-to-face interaction with their professors and peers can often be seen texting or “tweeting” between classes or in class. Such mobile messaging usage in class can be very …

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Send students an introductory email message before the course begins

Description Many faculty members begin their online courses by contacting students in advance of the course start date or during the first week of classes with an introductory email message (Bellafiore, 2007; Gibson and Blackwell, 2005; and Mensch and Ali, 2007). The purpose of this communication is to welcome the students, establish a comfortable class …

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