Contact students during a distruption

Let students know how you will communicate with them. In particular, note how you will announce changes to key dates in your course, keeping in mind the restrictions on changing grading procedures, as indicated in the University of Toronto Assessment and Grading Practices Policy.

Quercus Communication Options

  • Use the Announcements tool to communicate with everyone in your course
  • Use the Conversations/Inbox tool to send targeted messages to individuals, groups, or your entire course [Note: at the University of Toronto, the option for student-student communication via the Inbox is not available. Students can only contact their instructors or Teaching Assistants with this tool)
  • Encourage students to set appropriate Notification settings
  • Facilitate student-to-student communication by:
    • Using the Discussions tool on Quercus
    • Encouraging students to exchange contact information with one or two peers

U of T Email

To obtain your students’ email addresses:

Telecommunications Services

VoIP services, including multi-person audioconferencing, are available. Recommended for small courses (with a maximum enrolment of 20). Visit the Telecommunications website and contact your contact your divisional support team for more information.

Virtual Office Hours

  • Use Blackboard Collaborate Ultra to hold online Office Hours. Use the Appointment Group option in the Calendar tool to create time slots for student sign-up. Instructors, TAs or other teaching staff can provide assistance to or virtually meet with students via online communication tools without requiring a face-to-face meeting. Simple tools like email or a discussion forum allow absent students to send communication when they are capable. The Blackboard Collaborate Ultra webinar tool in Quercus includes a default room that is titled with the instructor’s name. This “Instructor Room” is accessible from any course that the instructor has been assigned to and can be used to provide virtual office hours across all of their course sections.
  • MS Teams (video to come)

Other Possible Means of Communication

  • Check with your department to see if they have existing social media accounts and websites that you and your students can follow.