10 Effective Practices for Digital Teaching

TIP 3: Share Communication and Course Expectations while closely Monitoring Students to Ensure Success

Ensure you and your students are on the same page. Be sure to inform your students about: 1) how you and when you will communicate with them, 2) how much time students should be expected to be working on the course each week, and 3) what assessment and evaluation expectations you may have, including grading criteria or rubrics.


How do you do this?

  • At the start of the course, ask students to review the GVSU Online Website and complete the Online & Hybrid Student Orientation available in their Blackboard portal.  

  • During your first week, provide students with an orientation for your course, create a syllabus quiz and award points for completion. 

  • Ensure your syllabus and schedule includes grading criteria and all learning activities or assessments.

  • Be clear as to how much effort and time will be required on a weekly basis to keep surprises to a minimum. Include recommendations for regular check-ins to the course and the number of times they should expect to be “online”.   

  • Ask your students to communicate immediately with you if they are experiencing issues or have questions about course content, assignments and requirements. This is important so they don't fall behind.

  • When creating assignments and assessments in Blackboard, be sure to select and enter DUE DATES. This is key and very helpful for students as it assists them in managing their calendar across their courses and prompts them each week for what is due. Also, make sure to make the assignment or assessment visible to students. By default, all newly-created content in Ultra is hidden from students.

  • Blackboard interactive rubrics are very helpful in both your grading of student work, and in the students' expectations for what is required for full credit.

  • Consider using Respondus Monitor and LockDown Browser academic integrity tools, which are available for online exam proctoring.

  • Continuously monitor students in the gradebook by checking the Last Access date from the student tab or checking the Overall Grade column from the same tab (be sure to set up the overall grade column first).  Use these resources as an early alert and as an opportunity to reach out and provide feedback to students around their performance. These tools can be very effective in determining whether any students in your class is falling behind or neglecting to check Blackboard regularly. Intervene early on so they get back on track quickly.

Page last modified December 8, 2022