Communicating in Your Course


  • Karen LaPlant
  • Sheri Hutchinson


course communication, commmunication plan, commmunication tools


How faculty can best communicate and develop a welcoming environment for learning is the focus of this session. A variety of communication tools and strategies are presented to better engage students before, during, and at the end of the course for the purpose of developing a more student-centered experience. We have found our LMS to be valuable in delivering frequent and effective course communication. We will demonstrate how to build community in a course with the purpose of retaining students, achieving significant student learning and teaching workplace skills students will use after graduation. Examples are provided. Analyze the effectiveness of your own current communication by using this course communication plan.

Author Biographies

Karen LaPlant

Karen LaPlant was a faculty member at Hennepin Technical College where she taught courses in Business and Information Technology for 30 years with the past 15 years online using Brightspace. LaPlant has a Masters in Instructional Technology from St. Cloud State University. Karen has presented at national conferences in Course Communication, Integrating Technology, Classroom of the Future, Security and Accessibility. She is a Certified Quality Matters Reviewer and an ACBSP Accreditation reviewer.

Sheri Hutchinson

Sheri Hutchinson is an Academic Program Director for Minnesota State College and University system. Sheri has a Ph.D. from Capella University in Instructional Design for Online Learning. She has taught for 20 years in higher education and K12 Special Education. She has spent 10 years as a Director of Online Learning and has worked in the text to speech technology corporate industry working to ensure accessible online content brings equitable educational opportunities for Minnesota students.