Delivery and communication
Delivery of material
Consistency and clarity come from well-structured sites and clearly labelled material. However, bear in mind that students will not necessarily find all the content you upload. In the first face-to-face session you have with students:
- Show the module site on Yorkshare, noting the module site name and location of key content.
- Inform students if/when and where you intend to post weekly materials.
- Show the reading list.
- If you are using Yorkshare for online activities, bring up an example of where these will be found.
During the course of a module you will need to communicate updates to the site to students. This may be within a lecture, or may be using Announcements. At a basic level these actions reiterate the link between the online environment and the face-to-face teaching.
As discussed in 1.3, Announcements provide a quick and recorded way of communicating to whole modules. Announcements also provide opportunities to:
- Prompt students to action, e.g. preparation activities.
- Offer reassurance and clarification over assessment.
- Provide feedback general to the whole cohort.
There are particular benefits over the use of the Announcement tool compared to email:
- Everyone on the module site can be contacted at once without the need to know email addresses.
- The announcement remains on the module site as a record of communication.
- If other colleagues have access to the site, they will be able to see the announcements and the teaching team as a whole is more informed.
- Announcements can be timed to be released in advance and hidden, rather than deleted, when no longer required.
It is worth noting though that Announcements created when the VLE module site is Unavailable to Students will not be emailed out. Only create Announcements when the site is available to students if you want them to receive an email copy.
Announcements can also be used within a Programme Site (i.e. a Yorkshare space where all students are enrolled across modules) to communicate with whole cohorts. In these cases, it is important to think about the context of the announcement and its intended audience. See the detailed workflow on Programme-Level use of Yorkshare [Google Doc] for further information.
Announcement good practice
- Sign off announcements with your name.
- Only make announcements when relevant to that module or the programme. Do not devalue announcements by posting social messages or posts of little connection to the learning objectives of the module.
- When posting for a specific group/year, include that group name at the start of the subject line and in the first line of the message.
- Do not include links to sites or resources stored on Yorkshare. These links do not work via email. Images also do not display in announcement emails. Instead state where resources may be found or advise students to log into Yorkshare to see any images.
Beyond the baseline: Coordinated approaches
Coordinated approaches to using communication tools ensures those who are kept informed are and messages are only sent to those who need to know. Understanding the relationship between module sites and programme sites will enable you to target the right group of students for announcements and content. For further guidance of programme-level approaches, see: