Students in online environments gain freedom, learn independence, and live in media rich environments. However, online education does create some difficulty with passing personal expectations of the professor. Such problems are not insurmountable. One must be simply more diligent in keeping in constant communication.
Here are a few ideas that might help:
-Communicate Often: It is important to communicate often to ensure students are hearing on a regular basis what is going on. While we can't spell everything out for all students, we can still work on ensuring that there is enough information for them to make appropriate decisions.
-Be Consistent: Don't change what your saying often unless it is necessary. When you are consistent it is easier for people to understand your message.
-Be Simple and Clear: Don't confuse people with high end language. Keep things clear and simple.
-Use Different Forms of Media: Try not to say things in the same format and media channel all the time. Beyond forum posts, try email, try video, try voice recording.
-Include You Contact Information: Include your contact information so people can get hold of you if they need to. It shows you are engaged.