Essentials of Effective Course Communication

Do More with Course Communication


Intelligent Agents and String Replace 

The use of classroom technology such as Learn@UW is an excellent means of enabling robust learning outside of the classroom. However, it comes at the price of a depersonalized learning experience. Students want to know that you think of them as more than a number on a roster, but that you care about their individual success.  By using students names in and out of the classroom you create a stronger community of learning, increase student interest in the course, and raise their feeling of accountability for course material.

But who is able to send out classroom announcements to each student with an individualized greeting? Intelligent Agents and String Replace enable more personable communication with students and are easy to use.

Intelligent Agents

Intelligent Agents will email students after they perform, or fail to perform a certain task. For example, if a student fails to log in to the course for so many days, you can set an Intelligent Agent to automatically send them an email to remind them to log on.

String Replace codes allow you to send an email to the entire class, but will address each email to the student directly.  No longer do you have to use the horribly impersonal “Dear students,” greeting at the start of course communication you can employ a String Replace code “Dear {FirstName},” so that each student sees their name at the start of the email (“Dear Johny”).

String Replace Codes

String replace codes work great for class news as well! Each student will see their name at the top of their news feed, and while it may sound gimmicky, it remains an easy and effective means by which to grab their attention, improve their course satisfacton, and improve the likelihood that they will do the assignments you want them to finish!

For more information on Intelligent Agents and String Replace codes consult the following:


Go Beyond

More information on the importance of student engagement and robust communication to maximize student outcomes.

  1. Improving Student Engagement: Ten proposals for action, Active Learning in Higher Education
    1. Click here for a shortened digest version of the 10 points –
  2. Timeless article explaining principals of best teaching practices, including the importance of regular communication between student and faculty.
  3. Article takes findings of Chickering and Gamson and brings them into a digital environment.
  4. Rhetorical, non-technological tips for better classroom communication


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