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Communication Tools (Student)

There are a number of ways to communicate within Cougar Courses.

Instructor to Student

Announcements Forum

A common way for instructors to communicate with students is by posting in the Announcements forum. The Announcements forum is a special type of forum that only allows instructors to post. When the instructor posts, not only is the post in the forum visible to everyone, but it is also emailed out to everyone in the course. The email is not instantaneous, but it should be sent out within an hour of when it was posted.

 Announcements forum

It is recommended that you occasionally check the Announcements forum in your courses to ensure you did not miss an announcement. It is usually located in the first topic/section in your course.

Messages

If your instructor wants to communicate with just you or a smaller group of students, they might send a message. By default, if an instructor sends you a message you will also receive an email notification. Those notification preferences are set under Preferences > Message Preferences or Notification Preferences. When you receive a message, in Cougar Courses your messages icon in the upper right will display how many unread messages you have. Click on the icon to be taken to your Messages area.

messages icon in upper right

You will also see your most recent messages under Messages on the right hand side of your My Courses page (under Feedback). Click on “View my messages” to be taken to your Messages area.

Messages area on My Courses page

Other Options

The above are just the built-in communication options, your instructor might choose to utilize other communication tools such as Forum, Chat, and Zoom in your courses.

Student to Instructor

Messages

To send your instructor a message in Cougar Courses, go into your course. Scroll to the bottom of the page and under Course Contacts click Message under your instructor’s name.

course contacts at bottom of course

CSUSM Email

If you want to send an email to your instructor you can use the Participants list in your course to get their email address. From your course homepage click on Course Dashboard. Then click on Participants.

Participants link on Course Dashboard

Scroll through the list to find your Instructor. Copy their CSUSM email address.

CSUSM email for instructor on Participants list

Go to your campus email, paste their email address in the To field and compose your message to them.

Other options

The above are just the built-in communication options, your instructor might choose to utilize other tools for you to communicate with them in your courses such as Forum, Chat, Choice, Feedback, Questionnaire, and Zoom.

Student to Student

Group Messages

By default students cannot message other student within Cougar Courses, they can only message instructors. However, if you instructor is using Groups in your course, they might have enabled group messaging which allows you to send a message to all of your group members. Go to your Messages area and see if you have any groups listed under the Group section (below Starred, above Private). Click on the group to compose your message.

group message

CSUSM Email

If your instructor is not using groups or did not enable group messaging, you will want to contact your classmates using their CSUSM email address. You can grab their CSUSM email address from the Participants list. From your course homepage click on Course Dashboard. Then click on Participants.

Participants link on Course Dashboard

Scroll through the list to find the student(s) you want to email. Copy their CSUSM email address.

CSUSM email address listed for students

Go to your campus email, paste their email address in the To field and compose your email to them.

Other Options

The above are just the built-in communication options, your instructor might choose to utilize other tools for student to student interactions such as Forum, Chat, OU Blog, OU Wiki, Glossary, and Zoom. in your courses.

IITS Support760.750.4790helpdesk@csusm.eduMonday - Friday: 8:00am - 5:00pm