Best uses of Nectir for instructors

Some of the best ways we've seen instructors use Nectir in their class.

Vicky Le avatar
Written by Vicky Le
Updated over a week ago

Nectir helps you build a community in and outside your classroom. Here are some of the best ways we've seen students, TA's, and instructors use the Nectir platform to make learning a better experience for everyone.

Don’t take our word for it though! Hear directly from Dr. Jason Duque at University of California, Santa Barbara on how he uses Nectir in his courses.

Encourage peer collaboration

Invite students to work through questions and challenges together. Use the Announcement Banner to remind students to ask each other basic questions before seeking instructor help. Encourage conversation using emojis 👋 and keep discussion light with gifs. For more narrow topics, create a sub-channel where students can have a sidebar conversation that is can be easily found later.

Host office hours

Host remote office hours by encouraging students to post questions or ideas to you directly. You may choose to engage with students asynchronously, or invite students to chat with you synchronously at specific times: "I will be online from 2-3PM on Tuesday and Thursdays." This works for TA's and instructors alike. Nectir office hours gives every student the opportunity to post questions as they arise, and get their questions answered, regardless of their schedule or ability to meet in person.

Start class discussions early

Class channels are designed to be free flowing discussion spaces through which students can become comfortable with talking about course material and take ownership of their learning. If you have a reading or topic that you want your students to explore, try sending it in your class channel ahead of a scheduled class time or module. You may even assign each student a post (in a thread or sub-channel) with their thoughts before coming to class. This way they come prepared with something to talk about.

Check in with students

It can be very helpful to get a snapshot of how the class is feeling about a particular topic or do periodic wellness checks. Nectir allows you to engage with students quickly and easily by using polls. You may choose to use a poll to take attendance, pre- and post-term surveys, check on students’ mental health, or get a feel for how well students are retaining content. Polls can be anonymous or public and create quickly inside of a Nectir channel.

To create a poll, check out our tutorial: Creating a Poll

Share news, resources, and current events

Nectir communities are a great way to share informal ideas and content outside of class assignments. Current events or even news articles can spark discussion in meaningful ways and create connections between students. To make sure that every student gets an important message is by using the "@all" command before your message. This sends everyone in the channel a notification (email and/or mobile) directing them to the message you just sent. If any files (e.g. pdfs, images) are shared in the channel, they can easily accessed and searched for later viewing by using the paperclip icon in the top right-hand corner of the channel.

Interested in more ideas?

Check out our faculty workshop on how to put those ideas into action and make the most of your Nectir workspace.

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