Communicating Effectively

Open lines of communication with students to reduce the sense of distance learners feel in an online environment and positively impact student motivation. It is essential that expectations and academic content, including learning outcomes and assessments, are clearly communicated by instructors. Establish the preferred mode of communication among you, your instructional team, and your students. It is recommended that you are consistent with your communication channel.

Asynchronous Communication

IS&T recommends communicating virtual learning expectations to students via email lists. You can also post announcements on the class homepage (Stellar, LMOD, Canvas) or, alternatively, email your class list via Stellarsend a message in LMOD, or the equivalent in Canvas.

Synchronous Communication

Office Hours can be held virtually using tools such as WebEx, Zoom, or other video conferencing software. 

MIT-wide Slack Enterprise Grid

The Slack Enterprise Grid is a messaging and collaboration tool for groups and individuals. MIT faculty, students, and staff are eligible to create Slack workspaces and all members of the extended MIT community are eligible to participate in MIT’s Slack workspaces. 

Members of a workspace in Slack can direct message individuals or create conversation channels for topics, projects, and groups. Conversation channels can be visible to the whole workspace or be set up as private channels accessible by invitation only. There you can share files and connect slack to Dropbox, Google Drive, Zoom, Github, Webex, and many more applications and services. You also have your own Slackbot that allows you to store notes, set reminders and get answers to your questions about using Slack.

Slack also provides ongoing webinars, including "Set your school up for distance learning with Slack".

All MIT faculty, staff and students are eligible to request a workspace. Affiliates are eligible to participate in workspaces.