What should the welcome letter contain?
Keep the letter to one page and be clear about what the student is about to begin. Include the following points:
What is the class about?
Go beyond repeating the course description, students can read that in the university catalog, why are you excited about teaching this topic? What expertise do you bring to the topic? We know that you are passionate about the topic or you wouldn’t be teaching it! Explain some of the activities that will be done in the class and how some of these might relate to their personal and professional life. What kind of life-long learning skills will result from completing this course.
What is the best and preferred way to contact you? What is your expected response time? What should students do if they don’t hear from you within this timeframe? Do you have virtual office hours? How do you want to communicate with your students? only through email from Blackboard, only with their UA email? Instant Messaging, Facebook, Skype…
Schedules and Deadlines
What are your expectations for a schedule for the class? Are you planning to have weekly assignments due on a specific date each week? or biweekly? Are you willing to provide a more open timeframe with students meeting benchmarks several times in a semester? What is the penalty for missing a deadline? Are you expecting two lessons a week? will you accept more if a student wants to push through the course early?
What is your grading philosophy? Your grading scale will be listed in your syllabus, but if you are able to generalize what you expectations are for your students, this can be very helpful.
How does a Student Get Started in the Course
You should have created some kind of welcome announcement telling students how to get started in the course. In your announcement you probably directed students to this letter. What is their next step?
End with an encouragement and enthusiasm!
UAF eLearning Letterhead in .doc format letterhead-eLearning