Communicating With Students

in Online and Web-Enhanced Courses

Overview & Reminder

This page overviews core communication tools available at Pima through D2L Brightspace which are also promoted within the first weekly module of our TE125 TEACH course for faculty.  As you review the options below, keep in mind what you believe about effective faculty-student communication - and let those beliefs guide how you use these tools. 

Review of Core Tools

Email Students Using The Classlist Tool

At Pima, the Classlist tool can be found under the Course Resources tab. Here, you will find a list of all enrolled students, their usernames, profile images (if posted by the student) and the date they last accessed the course. 

To send a quick email to from this tool (e.g. to all students or those who haven't been online recently), select one, more or all of the students, then click the blue Email icon. Click for a walkthrough of emailing students from the classlist.

Note: This video is set to begin at 0:39.  The first part of the video overviews an "Instant Message" feature that is not currently enabled at Pima.

Create Whole-Class Announcements Using The Announcements Tool

The Announcements tool, by default, lives on your homepage and is pretty intuitive for faculty to learn.  In most courses, it is the first thing students see when they visit your D2L classroom.  The College also posts global messages to all students using this tool (e.g. alerting to students when D2L or a third-party tool is down due to a technical issue). 

Click for additional information on announcements.

Creating VideoNotes (for most D2L tools)

The D2L Videonotes tool helps faculty or students create quick webcam recordings or to help you and your students quickly share video messages with each other.  

Please keep in mind that this tool does not allow for screen-sharing.  To learn more, visit our D2L VideoNotes page and the connected knowledge base articles. 

Tutorial: Creating a synchronous meeting within D2L

Alternatively, view in full-screen.

Additional Tools

Help Students Stay Aware of Your Announcements

Watch this video to learn how to adjust your own notification settings.  As you personalize your classes, consider including guidance for students on how to set their own notifications from the PimaOnline Student Guide.

Utilizing Pima Connect

PimaConnect is a case management tool that provides a way for students to connect to their success network and for a student's success network to connect with them. PimaConnect is also the system PCC uses for Early Alerts. Visit our PimaConnect page to learn how to build your profile and access your student information and explains the early alert process for faculty. For more, visit our PimaConnect Calendar & Appintments page.

The Activity Feed Widget 

This homepage tool now appears by default in most Pima courses.  This tool can be especially for creating a social, non-graded space for peer interaction.  If that's your goal, make sure to adjust the settings to enable student posts - and rename the widget as you see fit.

The Old-School Chat Room

To get a sense of how this tool can be used for live, real-time, virtual text-based chats, watch this video from Canisius College or visit this tutorial at Vanderbilt. 

Pima Faculty FAQs (click question to view answer)

How can I schedule meetings for one-to-one conferences with my students?

Here are some options that may work for you:

Does D2L Brightspace have a class messenger tool available at Pima?

No.  For this practice, some faculty recommend using for individual or whole-class texting.

Core D2L Communication Tools

Advanced D2L Communication Tools

Return to our Teaching Resources page