Building community in an online classroom is possible and may present some additional challenges. Instructors who build community in their online courses do so deliberately.

  • They begin by requiring that learners introduce themselves to the class with more than a name. 
  • These instructors may establish peer-mentoring groups early in the course and provide guidelines for learners to use those groups. 
  • They design assignments and assessments that require learners to meet in small groups, incorporate video, and use synchronous sessions. 
  • Instructors also require regular interaction between learners by requiring group projects and other group activities. 
  • Instructors also maintain the community by calling learners into maintain community standards of civility and the classroom guidelines as established at the beginning, perhaps even using a synchronous session to establish these ground rules. Instructors who interact respectfully with their learners regularly encourage their learners to interact respectfully with each other. 
  • These instructors also use check-ins with learners in private ways: ask “how’s it going?” or more broadly “can we change something about the course to encourage you to learn better?”
  • Instructors may also use the Orange SUccess "Non-Academic Concern" flag. This flag raises any non-academic concerns that instructors have regarding learners, but should not be used for issues related to academic integrity, student conduct, health/wellness issues or emergencies. Students DO NOT receive any email notifications when this flag is raised.

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