6 Simple Ways to Connect to College Students Online

But in this new world of social distancing, we have an opportunity to give real, human-centered online learning a try. Of course, we are still in a traumatic and stressful time, so new online courses aren’t going to be perfectly designed. But we CAN implement a few simple practices to allow for community building in online classes during a time of chaos.

Beautiful Moments in the Extended Classroom

There’s a unique aspect, however, to this type of classroom. In a brick and mortar classroom, my room extends to the walls, and whatever the students can see or hear outside. In the virtual, video based classroom, though, my classroom now extends into each of their homes. Their sofas, desks, posters, cats, and children all become part of the classroom. Some professors fight this tooth and nail. They inform students that pets and children need to remain off camera, and they warn against eating or smoking (yes, smoking!) in class.

I take a different perspective. I think that, as educators, we need to embrace the elements of this extended classroom. We need to balance professionalism and comfort. Acceptance and distraction.
So how do I do this? I let students know that I have a few guidelines for online behavior: {…}