Encourage Faculty-student & Student-student Interaction & Communication

"Frequent student-faculty contact in and out of class is a most important factor in student motivation and involvement. Faculty concern helps students get through rough times and keep working. Knowing a few faculty members well enhances students' intellectual commitment and encourages them to think about their own values and plans" (Chickering & Ehrmann, 1996, p. 2). This concept applies equally to student-student interaction (p. 3).

Examples of Sakai use

  1. Use email, Forums, chats, blogs, wikis to foster instructor-student interaction.
  2. Consider setting a specific time during the week for online office hours using the Chat tool.
  3. When assigning team projects, establish and promote the use of Sakai Group to encourage students to communicate and share information with each other online.
  4. Post contact information with your communication preferences (e.g. do not call me at home, or you may call me at home until…).
  5. Establish clear guidelines for how e-mail should be handled in the course. Have students include the course and section number in the subject line.
  6. Consider developing a chat or Forum policy that may include expectations on appropriateness, professionalism, rules for staying on topic, referencing other students posts, spelling, participation, etc.

General best practices of faculty-student and student-student interaction from current educational models

  1. Promote sharing of ideas and collaboration. "Learning is enhanced when it is more like a team effort than a solo race. Good learning, like good work, is collaborative and social, not competitive and isolated. Working with others often increases involvement in learning. Sharing one's ideas and responding to others' improves thinking and deepens understanding" (Chickering & Ehrmann, 1996, p. 3).
  2. Have students study in groups, team up for group projects or problem solving, and discuss assignments to deepen student-student interaction and reciprocity (p. 3).