The first week of an online class - at least for me - brings the highest volume of questions that I'll get all trimester.
In this episode, I've compiled a few tips for answering the questions you get in ways that are compassionate and welcoming.
I also encourage you to use the first-week, administrative questions as jumping off points to make your online course even better for next trimester!
Two tips I forgot to mention in the episode:
- If you use Canvas as your LMS, don't forget to subscribe to your course's Q&A forum before the course opens. If you don't manually subscribe, you may not get a notification when students post. I can't tell you how many times I've seen student questions in this forum go unanswered - sometimes for weeks! - because the instructor didn't realize that they weren't automatically subscribed.
- I use flagging in Outlook to keep track of emails that need responses ASAP. If I can't answer a question immediately, I flag the message so that I know to get to it as soon as I'm able. This helps me feel more confident that student questions aren't slipping through the cracks when I have such a high volume of messages.
If you have any other tips, please post them below. I'd love to hear how you manage in the first week of your course.