I am going to write a short series of Blogs posts laying out what I think should be considered when using Technology (particularly Virtual Learning Environments) to teach.
Some of this will be stating the obvious and (if you are reading this blog) will be something you already know or do, but I want to start from the very basics.
So – the very first thing is to plan what key messages you are going to tell your students during the course. You probably already know these they are the kind of things you would say at the beginning or end of a face to face session
e.g. Dont forget field trip next week, Remember we have a test on tuesday, there is a documentary on TV this week that you should watch
Some of these you will know at the start of the course, some will come up during the teaching cycle. You want to aim for 1 (or more) a week so your students have a reason to visit your course, which should help encourage student engagement with the wider course materials and build a sense of staff presence in the course.
Interestingly I was planning to link to some research/evidence that communicating to your students regularly helps with retention and attainment (see Ben Goldacre on why education should use evidence more) but I couldn’t find any – if anyone can please add it in a comment 🙂
I am guessing that telling your students things is so obviously helpful that no-one has ever thought to measure how helpful it is.