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The importance of communication and social elements in digital education

Clear communication is especially important for digital education because the structure of different courses often varies greatly. The students need to understand your course structure, your expectations of them and how to contact you, among other things. The variety is also why you should encourage social interaction and interaction between the students, it is not obvious what they can and are allowed to do together.

These recommendations apply to digital education at KTH, that is, campus education or distance education that uses digital tools. The recommendations on this page is established by the First and Second Cycle Education Committee (GU) at KTH .

When you complete your digital education, we recommend the following:

  • Provide clear instructions
  • Communicate your course layout and expectations to your students
  • Be available for your students
  • Create a social context
  • Encourage students to work together.

Adapt the recommendations to your course

Each educational situation is unique and as a teacher you should therefore critically relate to these recommendations. Consider how they are, or are not, relevant to your particular course.

Provide clear instructions

It is important that you communicate clearly to your students what is expected of them, what should be done, how and when. Students often feel lonelier in distance studies and need particularly clear instructions, which also avoids misunderstandings.

Feel free to make use of the following resources:

Communicate your course layout and expectations to your students

There is a great variety in how digital educations are carried out and most students have more experience of traditional classroom teaching. Therefore, it is a good idea that you as a teacher explain how the course is laid out and what the students are expected to do to pass the course. Also include which tools will be used in the course.

Feel free to make use of the following resources:

Be available for your students

At KTH, courses for program students are expected to have scheduled teaching on campus or via web meeting. How you carry out the scheduled teaching is up to you, but no digital tools can completely replace teacher presence. Be clear with students about how and when teachers and assistants are available to answer questions. A good idea might be to answer questions in a discussion forum as many students often have similar questions.

Feel free to make use of the following resources:

Create a social context

The feeling of isolation is a common feedback regarding digital education that is largely remote, for both students and teachers. Therefore, try to build social presence by encouraging dialogue and creating a sense of belonging between teachers and students as well as between students. An effective way to increase the sense of social presence in web meetings is that both teachers and students use audio and webcam.

Feel free to make use of the following resources:

Encourage students to work together

Keep in mind that students are an important resource for each other. Encouraging students to help each other and work together contributes to both student learning and facilitates your work as a teacher.

Feel free to make use of the following resources:

Contact and support for digital education

Do you have questions or do you want guidance on digital learning?

For general support: .

For educational support:  (we reply within two days time).

Other contacts for education

If you have other questions about education at KTH, the information is collected on Contacts for education support at KTH .

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Belongs to: KTH Intranet
Last changed: Jun 14, 2023