Although students receive a welcome/introduction letter from the university as soon as they register in my course, I think it’s important for them to receive one specifically from me as well.
In terms of my teaching style, I like to get to know my students and have a bit of personal interaction with them – this is one way to get that ball rolling.
Next steps: I’m going to create a video to post on our course website so that I can repeat a bit of this letter in a way that lets them see me and hear me (put a face to the name sort of thing).
No links for this – I simply included a bit of information about myself, and tried to include some details to clarify course requirements/expectations.
Below is the letter I email to them:
“Hello *insert student name*!
Welcome to *insert course name/number* – I look forward to learning about resilience with you! Please take the time to read through this email – it contains information that will help you successfully complete this course. I’m sending this to your personal email rather than through Moodle because there are some documents I wanted to attach and I cannot do that through Moodle.
A bit about me: I enjoy all aspects of social psychology; however, my main area of research is forgiveness, and I have studied it from both the victim and perpetrator perspectives. I obtained my degrees in Social-Personality Psychology and in addition to teaching on-line at TRU, I teach at the University of Victoria and Camosun College, and I work at Restorative Justice Victoria.
The best way to reach me is via email. If you’d prefer to speak to me over the phone you are of course welcome to call and leave me a voice mail message (insert phone number), HOWEVER, my preference would be for you to email me a request for a time for us to chat, that way, we don’t waste any time playing phone-tag. When you email me, please make sure to include your full name and student number.
Also, please note that under the “General Forums” tab on our course website, you’ll have access to two discussion boards that you might find useful when you have a question. The Student Café Forum is where you can chat with others in the course about matters of mutual interest regarding your studies and professional development. The Resilience Room Forum is an informal place to post any questions or comments you might have about the course (readings, concepts, etc.) and to exchange ideas with others in the course. Although I might pop in and comment from time-to-time, you are not graded for any posts submitted to either of these two forums – they’re simply a way for you to connect with others in the course.
Attached to this email are a document containing definitions of concepts that are key to doing well in this course, a document listing what you’ll need to include in essays that you submit (Part B of your assignments and for your Final Project Exam), and a Cliff Notes version of the APA 6th edition manual that I have a created for you – it contains all the information (and more!) you’ll need to know about APA for your assignments in this course.
The course is divided into four Modules and a Final Project Exam (check out the Final Project tab for information about your Final Project Exam). There are readings associated with each Module that you must complete to do the assignments. You can find the list of readings by clicking on the Overview tab for each Module (in the overview section you’ll also find the learning objectives for that module).
When you click on the Module tab, you’ll then see that it’s further divided into topics (e.g., Module 1 has four topics) and that each topic has several activities associated with it (e.g., Module 1, Topic 1, has two activities). I recommend taking a quick glance at each of the activities in the topics for the module you’re completing before you begin any readings – it will help you know what sort of information to focus on as you complete the readings and will let you know if you need to read the entire article. For instance, for Module 1, Topic 1, Activity 2, What is Psychology? you only need to read certain sections of the assigned reading/website.
As you work through this course, make sure that in addition to completing the required assignments, you also complete the assigned web discussion postings – they are worth 10% of your final grade! Check out the Assignments Overview tab for information about each of your assignments and your web discussions. I look forward to reading your first web discussion and learning more about you!
I’m here to support you as you progress through this course – please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions, or for help to work through any course-related struggles you might encounter.
I hope you enjoy the course!
All the best,