Although often only viewed as an administrative task, email communications are a hidden gem for online instructors who are looking for an opportunity to foster student connection and engagement in their courses. The ways in which online instructors reply to a student’s email can help or hinder all other efforts – course preparation, planned interactions, the perfectly crafted welcome message, among others – to develop genuine connections with students. By reframing how email is viewed and responses are crafted, exploring different approaches for responding to students’ questions, and practicing human-first viewpoints in the absence of communication markers or visual cues, online instructors will log off from this virtual workshop with a foundational toolkit for handling email communications with distance students.
By the end of this workshop, the participant will be able to:
- Develop a toolkit that can help in responding to student emails, rooted in human-first communication and with the goal of fostering connectedness.
- Describe the importance of informal and unplanned interactions with students and their impact on student engagement.
UA faculty, staff, and graduate students
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