Principle 1: Be present


It’s about students knowing that you’re available, approachable, and supportive. Communicating that they matter. It’s about growing the student-teacher relationship by cultivating points of connection, showing that they are learning from a teacher, you, rather than just interacting with a computer. By sharing who you are, you can help students connect with you, and engage with the course.


The teacher-student relationship is central to learning. Being present can help students feel connected to you, and their learning, and increase likelihood that they will engage and seek help.


  • Post a welcome announcement at the beginning of the course
  • Post regular updates, e.g. weekly, about what’s on and tasks
  • Consider using video for welcome and updates (you could use the short recorder in Moodle)
  • Share some information about yourself e.g. industry stories, mihi, etc.
  • Share a (recent) photo and contact details in the Moodle Convenor block
  • Hold virtual office hours (you might even have students book appointments using a tool like Calendly or You Can Book Me)
  • Consider giving audio feedback on student work
  • Encourage students to contact you if they have concerns or questions about the course or their participation within it - show care and attention to student wellbeing
  • Start the course with a relevant icebreaker activity, such as an introductory forum, where students introduce themselves and their reason for taking the course, or something they would like you to know about you