Building Online Community


Our Queens E-Learning AQ course had a module on “Building Community” within an e-learning environment. Five community building strategies were given and we were challenged to come up with ideas to implement these strategies.


Community Building Strategy Suggested Implementation
Strategy 1: Regularly give students a place to be themselves and share their experiences, thoughts, and interests. Help them see the value of their participation by representing the information back to the group. – An introductory discussion activity would be an obvious example.

-Insist that students create an avatar.

-Occasionally, you might make a link to a PADLET bulletin board (break out of the LMS!) where students can talk about how an issue relates to them. Perhaps they can add images / video that will allow them to express themselves beyond just text.

Strategy 2: Give responsibility to individuals or groups for discussion threads on select academic topics. – In the course orientation (and the assignment description), perhaps it should be made clear that at least 3 comments should be made per discussion forum.

Contact 1-2 students per discussion thread to moderate or to comment on all postings.

Strategy 3: Encourage student-to-student advice regarding assignments. -Perhaps create a “study buddy” system where (based on diagnostic assessment) weaker students might be linked to a stronger student.

-Perhaps a simple early “group assignment” might force two people to become a little more comfortable talking to each other. This gives each student at least one person they can contact if they need help.


Strategy 4: Use synchronous communications to strengthen ties to the classroom community. -Contact students periodically for F2F discussions using Google Hangouts.
Strategy 5: Leverage students’ love of mobile technologies. -Use #hashtags to get a discussion going on twitter.

-If applicable, perhaps a instagram account could be created where images related to course content could be shared. (ex: environmental science).

-Encourage blogging and having students create links / subscribe to each other’s blogs.

-Make links to quizlet, kahoot if applicable





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