The Chat option in Microsoft Teams turned out to be an effective way to communicate with students, to the point that we decided to use it instead of email communication.
It offered casual and immediate exchanges (many of us installed Teams on our phones) and I would usually reply right away. It was convenient for students in both my Basic Drawing and Digital Art classes to reach out to me, or to the rest of the class in the group chat we set up early on, with questions as they worked on their projects.
Drawing students could send pictures of their in-progress drawings for feedback. Digital Art students were able to ask questions which would often lead to an impromptu video chat in order to share their screens with me.
It allowed me to see what they were working on and either help with technical issues or offer feedback. I found Teams Chat to be efficient and timesaving, but most importantly I felt it was the closest thing to being together in a studio classroom where I am there to answer questions and help students as they worked on their projects. It was also a quick and easy-to-use tool for me to reach out to students and was surprised by their prompt replies.
Both courses were taught asynchronously and incorporated different platforms. Moodle served as the main repository of information while Padlet served as an interactive collective space (see Sarah Lindley’s post). We also held optional Zoom meetings every week and I found that reminding students of the meeting through a chat message a few minutes prior offered good results.