Communicate with your students as soon and as often as possible, informing them that changes are coming and what your expectations are for checking email or Canvas (UCC's virtual learning environment), so you can get them more details soon. Make your communication plan explicit to your students. Will you be checking your email at set times during the day? How quickly can students expect a reply? What is the best way for students to contact you? Once you’ve answered these questions, draft a communications policy to share with your students so they know what to expect.
Consider setting up online office hours where students can ask questions. This could be through Canvas email, regular email or an MS Team.
Tell students about the Help section on Canvas that they can use if they have any Canvas-related questions. They will see this on the Help menu when they log into Canvas. Students can choose to call the Freephone number 1800 852 159 or access the Chat with Canvas Support for Students option.
Let students know about health and counselling support services they can access if they are feeling anxious. https://www.ucc.ie/en/emt/covid19/health/ is the best location to direct students in this instance.
Encourage all of your students to download the Canvas student app and update their notification settings in Canvas so they receive updates as quickly as possible. Refer them to How do I set my Canvas notification preferences as a student?
As you finalise changes to your module, inform your students and post the revised policies to Canvas. You might find it useful to create a FAQ forum in the Canvas page for your module to answer general questions. For more information, see the Communicating with Canvas pages in the Teaching with Canvas module.
For more information and suggestions, book a consultation with someone from the Centre for Digital Education.