Communicating Online

Asynchronous – Discussion Board

Asynchronous discussions take the form of posts and responses to a discussion forum. In this type of discussion, the instructor will pose a topic and require students to post a discussion, respond and perhaps analyze and evaluate their peer’s submission. Asynchronous discussion may be used to generate discussion solely among students.

Synchronous – Virtual Classroom

Synchronous discussions are similar to chat rooms. The instructor will organize a time for a virtual meeting using the Collaborate Ultra tool and will provide topics for discussion. Synchronous discussions move rapidly and responses must be read quickly, thus emphasizing the ideas being expressed rather than who is expressing them. Students can send private questions to the instructor and receive a private response. Instructors will often record and archive chat sessions for students to review if needed.


Since this is an online course, most communication from the professor will take place via email and through the "Announcements" section of the course map.
All electronic communication from the professor will be directed to the UM email address of the student.
Students are responsible for the content of all communications. As such, students must monitor their UM email accounts frequently and regularly throughout the course.
It is expected that students will follow the following guidelines when sending email to faculty or fellow students:

  • Use your UM email address only, as others may be filtered for spam
  • Use Subject Heading appropriately
  • Include a salutation
  • Include your name and a closing

Written assignments will be submitted electronically through the module assignment link in Blackboard, located with each assignment.