Teaching Assistants' Training Program

Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation, 130 St. George Street, Robarts Library, 4th floor

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Building Community in Online Learning Environments

Monday, January 25, 2021 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm EST


Monday, January 25, 2021
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm EST


Why is a sense of community important for learning? What challenges and opportunities characterize community-building in online environments?  
Virtual classes pose a new set of challenges to the presence and engagement of learners and teachers alike. This workshop will introduce participants to the Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework, which emphasizes social presence, teaching presence, and cognitive presence as essential facilitators for successful online learning. Guided by this framework, participants will learn about reasons and strategies for community-building in the online environment. They will have the opportunity to participate in and reflect on a number of virtual community-building strategies, from icebreakers to content-oriented activities that can be adapted for online classrooms in a variety of disciplines. Participants can expect to leave this workshop with a better understanding of how community-based learning benefits online environments, as well as specific techniques that can be implemented to foster a sense of community online.