Communication & Participation
Communication and participation are two of the most critical aspects of learning—and teaching—online. It encompasses all of the interaction and behaviors within a course, including between instructor and learner, among learners—either one-on-one or as part of a group—and between learners and the instructional materials. There are many types of communication possible within an online course, as well as many strategies and techniques to encourage successful interaction among participants.
Why Is It Important?
The importance of communication and participation in the online environment can not be overstated. Because students in an online course are physically separated from the instructor and their peers and connected only via technology, they need more support, feedback, and communication than do students in a face-to-face course. Otherwise students may feel isolated and alienated. Using effective communication strategies will enable the instructor to connect personally to the learners, to identify and meet individual student needs, and to encourage students to participate.
How to Put Into Practice?
Communication and participation are, unsurprisingly, a large part of teaching an online course. To successfully fulfill the facilitator role, instructors should engage in a number of teaching techniques and strategies to engage and motivate students throughout the duration of the course:
Where to Find Resources?
The “Communication & Participation” deep dive topic explores strategies and resources for communicating and providing feedback to students in an online course.
Topics covered include:
- Communication and Interaction
- Participation and Behavior Techniques
- Groups and Teams
- Course Design and Teaching Strategies
Note: This course is available for FREE to all UW-Madison faculty and staff. When you click the link you will be prompted to sign in with your UW-Madison NetID and password. Then you will be taken to the topic homepage where you can learn more and complete activities.