Effective Community Building & Communication

Building a strong sense of community in a virtual or flexed classroom isn’t impossible. It just requires deliberate action on the part of the instructor—and constant attention over the course of the semester. The upside is that, as much time as this may take, we know that a strong sense of community helps to improve and deepen student learning. What’s more, paying particular attention to community building can help make our classes more inclusive and inviting to all members of the W&L community.


Community Building and Community Engagement

This page from Amherst has some nice tips for building community in a variety of courses and disciplines.

Near, Far, and Everywhere You Are

This is a nice handbook developed by a group of ACS faculty. Though it’s specific to building community in first-year seminars, it has plenty of tips that are applicable for any course.

‘Nobody Signed Up for This’: One Professor’s Guidelines for an Interrupted Semester

This article came out shortly after the pivot to virtual instruction during Spring 2020. Though times have changed (or have they?), many of the practices described here continue to resonate.

Synchronous Strategies for the “New Normal”

A short article on how to maintain balance in our classes and keep a strong sense of community.

Transparent and Effective Communication in the Virtual Environment

The workshop by Pamela Tracy of Longwood College provides begins with an adaptable theoretical framework for thinking about communication, and concludes with lots of practical tips for setting up effective course communication and community building.

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