Writing is about communication. Regardless of technology – whether you’re speaking to the group or sending out an e-mail – you need to set an example for your students. E-mails, in particular, offer a good example of how to start.
A discussion board is a great way to maintain open lines of communication with your students. By providing a common space for students to ask questions, you’ll be able to give in-depth answers to each question rather than face the prospect of several e-mails all asking the same question. Additionally, most student’s aren’t quite sure what to ask – often, students receive important clarification from ongoing discussion which they would never seek out on their own.