first point of contact with online students This morning I asked our lead LMS (Learning Management System) administrator what tip he would give to teachers and professors as they start up a new semester. He said, “Communicate, communicate, communicate.” I asked if he would get a bit more specific and he related the following advice.

1. Make the First Contact. In other words, be proactive with your communication, send out an email before the semester is underway to introduce yourself.

2. Be available. Encourage your students to contact you. You may want to direct them to your institution’s Help Desk for technical issues or to your teaching assistant for particular issues, however, it’s important to let them know you are accessible and want to hear from them.

3. Be Present. Answer questions promptly as the emails roll in and participate in your course’s introductions discussions.