Communicating with students

Lecturer interaction, communication and feedback play a large part in students' satisfaction with a course. Maintaining contact is essential particularly for online students who may participate in isolation from each other and the University.

Good practice

  • Provide students with an overview of how you intend to engage with them during the course – the frequency with which you intend to participate in discussion boards, your expected response time to messages, etc.
  • Upload a profile to the Blackboard 'contacts' area, including your preferred contact method (e.g. email, phone) and times you are available for consultation, both online and face-to-face
  • Use announcements to communicate course-specific news to all students. For urgent/important announcements, use the 'Email announcement' option to alert students immediately.
  • Use email to communicate one-to-one with individual students on personal matters, regarding progress, assessment, etc.
  • Participate regularly in discussion boards, responding to student queries, guiding course-related conversations and providing other informal feedback.
  • Use the grade centre to manage and communicate result information and formal feedback
  • Include community building activities in your course, such as online introductions in a discussion board
  • Ensure there are activities in your course where students have the opportunity to engage with each other or work collaboratively. This aids in building a sense of community and avoids students feeling isolated



Blackboard is the hub of online activity and communication for your course. Encourage students to check the site regularly for updates and information.