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Home > Instructional and Online Learning Technologies > Communicating with students online
Communicating with students online
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As we suddenly find ourselves teaching and learning online, many faculty and students are wondering how to best communicate with one another. Information and Technology Services will continue to support the tools available to us in our newly organized environment. However, to mitigate individual issues potentially experience by faculty and students, these best practices for communicating important course-related information may help you as you move through your respective courses: 


Course-related announcements 

Academic Technology recommends use of the Announcements or Messages Tools in Sakai. In order to enhance online course engagement and ensure that students all receive intended communications, communicated course expectations should include explicit weekly or academically appropriate intervals at which students check these Tools within their respective Course Sites.


  • Announcements should be sent with Notify participants of announcement by email selected.
  • Messages should be sent with Send a copy of this message to recipients' email address(es) selected. Select High priority in order to ensure that all students are sent email copies of these announcements or messages.


Not Recommended: Email distribution lists and Sakai Email Archive Tool

Because students may configure both their student email accounts and options within Sakai to restrict or filter messages, Academic Technology does not recommend using email distribution lists or the Sakai Email Archive Tool as the primary or only means of sending course-related communications. The Learning Management System, Sakai, provides a number of stable locations through which to post and share communications with students that can be accessed from across devices, and in copy to email addresses as an additional means of communication.



One-on-one synchronous advising through Teams/Chat or Zoom

Microsoft Teams and Chat or Zoom can be used for one-on-one text-based, audio, or video-conferencing with students enrolled at W&J. Please consider student access to technologies including hardware and stable internet connection, technical competencies, and abilities when choosing these tools.




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