OSCQR – Standard #10

OSCQR – Standard #10

Course provides contact information for instructor, department, and program.

Review These Explanations

In addition to providing this information in the syllabus, including a contact information page in the course information documents opens opportunities for learners to contact and interact with course instructors, as well as department and program administrators. Be sure that there is a printable version of this information for learners to have on hand in case they are unable to access the online class and need to get in touch.

Interaction guidelines can be included along with contact information, and should indicate when and how the instructor prefers to be contacted. When posting department and program information, include hours of operation (if appropriate), and contact options if learners need to access to department or program resources outside of those hours.

Opening avenues for communication, and providing easy access to those channels supports learner-instructor interaction, and facilitates engaging in supportive contact and interaction, a key component of social presence. (Garrison, Anderson, & Archer, 2000).

Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T., & Archer, W. (2000). Critical inquiry in a text-based environment: Computer conferencing in higher education. The Internet and Higher Education, 2(2-3), 87-105.

Refresh Your Course with These Ideas

  • Create a digital business card with your contact information and share it out via course announcements.
  • Include instructor, department, and program contact information in your syllabus and course information area.
  • Develop a Key Contacts list and link to it from the course home page, making it easy for learners to access, download, and print as they enter the learning space.
  • Consider including an informal video introduction to the department and program staff so that learners have a better idea of who they are reaching out to and include that in the contact information area.
  • Remember to update your contact information if you are traveling to another time zone, or your availability changes in any way.
  • If you are using a syllabus quiz or scavenger hunt orientation activity, be sure to include finding and printing this contact information area in that activity!

Explore Related Resources

If you’d like to better understand the “rules of the road” for online teaching and learning, 10 Principles of Effective Online Teaching: Best Practices in Distance Education is the perfect guidebook. Explore Chapter 2: Practice Proactive Course Management Strategies for related tips.
Aragon, S. R. (2003), Creating social presence in online environments. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, 2003: 57–68.

Share What You Know

OSCQR has been developed by a community of online practitioners interested in quality course design. There are numerous opportunities for community members to offer suggestions, donate resources, and help with future development.

Discuss this standard in the comments section at the bottom of this page.

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