Creating a sense of community is important for any course and in any modality; however, instructors often find it more challenging to build a strong online community in remote courses. The resources below offer some practical tips and suggestions for building a stronger community in your online courses.
Community Building in Online Courses
- O’Malley, Sharon. “Professors Share Ideas for Building Community in Online Courses.” Inside Higher Ed, 26 July 2017.
In this Inside Higher Ed article, professors share a variety of methods and suggestions to form a community in online classes. They suggest methods such as, incorporating video, meeting in real time, working in small groups, requiring constant interaction, etc.
- Boudreau, Emily. “A Place of (Remote) Belonging.” Usable Knowledge, Harvard Graduate School of Education, 1 Apr. 2020.
A resource primarily for K-12 instructors, much of the advice on this page is relevant to higher-ed as well. The resource offers some practical advice and tips on building a closer online community.
- “Top 13 Ways To Create Community In Online Classes & Courses.” Online Course How, 12 June 2020.
This resource provides some unique ways to build an online community such as, regular engagement with students, showcasing students’ successful work, setting challenges, gamification and being available on social media.
Community Building in Hybrid Courses
- Allen-Pennebaker, Elizabeth. “Building Community on the First Day of a Flex-Hybrid Course (and Before!).” Center for Learning and Teaching, 22 July 2020.
This resource offers some suggestions on how to start building a community before your course begins, and during those first few classes.
- Weimer, Marellen. “Use Team Charters to Improve Group Assignments.” Faculty Focus | Higher Ed Teaching & Learning, 8 Sept. 2017.
This resource suggests incorporating team-work in courses by using “Team Charters”. Although the resource provides suggestions on how to do so in a face-to-face class, the approach can be applied to remote courses, and especially hybrid courses. Teaming up the online and in-person students helps with building a community between the two cohorts, and using “Team Charters” assists with this communication and planning.