A quick tip that reduces redundant communication, i.e. answering multiple students about the same topic, or back and forth emails with a singular student, is to create explanation/demonstration videos. By using your institution’s video management or the free tool, Jing https://www.techsmith.com/jing.html, you can build a library of videos that will function as FAQs for your students. You candirect your students to these videos at the start of your course, link/embed them in assignments or content pages, or link to them in message replies.
Yes, I couldn’t agree more Michael! This tip becomes exponentially more valuable as class size increases. I often advise faculty if you get the same question from 2 students, consider messaging the class; if you get the same question from 10 students, consider revising your course content or adding a more detailed explanation via video. Screen captures are awesome! Our faculty multimedia center has Camtasia loaded on most of the computers, and we just recently installed a light board (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1I4Afti6XE). These are great tools too, but they’re not free like Jing.