Building community in an online course

In addition to creating your instructor presence in an online course, also consider designing a sense of community. If Implemented early in the semester, a strong sense of community leads to improved retention and student success. Three ways to get started might be to:

  • Begin by modeling the behavior you expect students to exhibit.  This can be done by supporting the concepts stated in the Netiquette section of the syllabus through the feedback we provide students and making sure student concerns are addressed.
  • Design opportunities for student interaction within the course. This can be done through group work, discussions and collaborative projects.
  • Design opportunities for student free or social interactions in the class – discussion board where students can speak socially, set up study groups, or post other articles that are relevant to the course can be posted and discussed.

 For more ideas and examples check out the Mini Workshop DVD “How Can I Build Community in My Online Classes?” on reserve at Zuhl Library.

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