Random Thoughts on Instructional Design
Respond publicly to initial introductions in a way that uses them as a springboard for discussion, connecting participants’ experiences to the course content and raising questions for consideration. After everyone is comfortable, responses can become more global: instead of responding to each message individually, you can post replies responding to issues raised in several messages. Encourage participants to join actively in the orientation session and to get to know one another. Show your personality so that your participants feel as if they know you. Use an informal and friendly tone in your messages. You may also want to include emoticons, or “smileys,” short sequences of letters and symbols that are used to emulate emotions and to express the message spirit.