Establishing communication channels and a sense of community

You can check in with your students by establishing channels for communication and using them early and often. Your LMS subject has several options form communication from you to your students, your students to you and from peer to peer. Here’s how to use these features to check in with your students and develop a supportive learning community.

  • How do I ask students what support they need?

    You can support students by providing forums to ask questions and provide you with feedback.

    Some examples in the LMS include:

    Some students may have questions that relate to personal matters. For these, advise students to use your contact information on your Staff Information page or use the Canvas Inbox.

  • How do I respond to and support my students online?

    Some students may have questions that relate to personal matters. For these, you can respond by phone or use the Canvas Inbox.

    In many cases it is both useful and efficient to respond to students as a cohort or group. This can streamline your workload and your responses will benefit a broader group of students.

    You can use Canvas Announcements to communicate and check in with your whole cohort or with your tutorial group. Plan and send regular straightforward advice and updates. This could include:

    • Start-of-week announcements to introduce the activities and topics of the week ahead
    • Timely updates
    • Reminders about crucial dates (eg census date) and links to relevant information
    • Responses to questions in polls or surveys
    • Wrap-up announcements to summarise and reflect on discussions and activities.

    Find out how to create an announcement.

  • How do I support social and collaborative learning?

    You can develop a supportive learning environment by designing activities for collaborative learning. Facilitate collaboration among students by getting actively involved in online discussions. Respond to student comments and questions with open-ended questions and prompts to further discussion between students.