I love this online teaching tip. During the first week of class, I ask students to post personal/professional introductions. I then post an individual reply to every student. These are quick and easy to do, a great way to make an initial connection between the instructor and student. In my reply, I typically address four topics:
1. Welcome the student to the course
2. Discuss or mention at least one personal topic they have introduced
3. Encourage them to seek me out for assistance as needed during the course
4. Let them know I value the upcoming contributions they will be making to the class
This one teaching tip opens up a door for communication and personalization. Students have more than once mentioned this one tip as being a positive influence in their overall course experience. Try it out!
If you have online teaching tips you’d like to share, send me a note and I’ll be happy to include them in the blog.