Community managers can assist bring a sense of belonging and connection to your virtual classroom by taking on the job of community manager. It is the job of community managers to find strategies to keep students engaged while also promoting an inclusive and welcoming environment for everyone. Using these numbers, students can connect with you, the course, and each other in meaningful ways.
We include top tips and techniques in our article.
What is a Community Manager?
The field of social media marketing coined the phrase “community manager” to describe the position. When community manager participates in online debates, they do it on their own time, and not on behalf of their company. Students will feel more comfortable interacting with you if you hire a community manager who has been trained specifically for academic settings.
Use these tools, activities, and strategies to get students working and cooperating together.
To help students thrive academically as well as professionally, consider implementing some of the nine strategies listed below. It doesn’t matter if you teach online, in person, or a hybrid of the two — these pointers will help you engage students in meaningful ways.
1. Prioritize your Efforts
Make clear goals for real-time or self-paced involvement at the outset of a learning activity If you’re using an online discussion board, you may, for example, spell out exactly how many times students should post responses. You may use this information to see how students are progressing, as well as which activities are working and which ones aren’t.
Consider this: In terms of engagement, how would you define success?
2. Be Aware of Your Audience’s Demographics
In order to get a sense of students’ academic and non-academic preferences, as well as their personal situations, conduct an inventory of students’ interests. When it comes to timed activities, for example, overseas students may raise issues about time zones. The earlier in the semester you can facilitate this activity, the better you’ll understand how to link course content to students’ interests and ambitions outside of the classroom.
Find out about your students’ backgrounds and areas of interest.
It’s worth a go in the classroom: student groups will share their interests, work experience and other information in groups of four to six people for the group resumé icebreaker exercise.
3. Establish a Tone of Voice
Instructors new to online teaching may realize that while educational technology is essential, it takes away from their ability to show off their unique personalities. Think about what motivates you, and search for ways to incorporate this into your studies. For example, you may provide photographs or regions of interest outside the classroom, or put up course announcements and case studies that are relevant to your own history and experiences. An online classroom can feel more like a traditional one if the following simple procedures are followed.
Examine your teaching style and determine how you may best use your personality traits, such as enthusiasm, wit, and compassion, into your lessons.
4. Define your Engagement Criteria
Your kids, like you, have different communication preferences that you should be aware of. Be willing to change your mind. A discussion thread is a terrific alternative for people who are afraid to speak up in front of their peers. Online talks may benefit from loosening the restrictions on grammar and punctuation. For many people, videos, memes, and GIFs are acceptable means of communication. If the goal is to increase student participation, allowing more students to participate will help achieve that goal.
5. Recognize the level of comfort students are experiencing
A solid Internet connection is not available to everyone, and some people may not wish to share their homes with the world. Make sure that there is a good mix of live and self-paced learning opportunities, such as discussion forums or reading assignments.
Consider this: Is it necessary for everyone in a live class to be recording?
6. Have a Strategy
Students will feel a sense of belonging if you make an effort to foster collaboration. When lectures, laboratories, and discussions outside of class are combined with active learning, students are better able to engage with the course information.
Consider this: How can you employ activities in a strategic way to keep students interested?
7. Pro-peer Networks Advocacy
For group projects or simply keeping in touch, give students methods to support one another via your LMS or other educational technology. Students should be able to communicate with each other via discussion boards. Informal contact among students is just as vital; take into account how social media enters your classroom.
8. Provide Constant Feedback
Students’ contributions to class discussions are contingent on their own responses via live video, discussion threads, or your learning management system (LMS). Make time in your schedule each day to respond to student emails and provide them with comments and directions. Alternatively, Michelle Miller, a professor of psychological sciences at Northern Arizona University, recommends an attitude she calls “radically available.” Student needs necessitated Miller’s abandonment of regular office hours. As an alternative, she went with a web-based scheduling tool that lets students reserve time slots on their own terms.
Consider the following: how can you connect with pupils through various mediums?
If you want to create a community that is vibrant, developing, and actively involved, we urge that you follow these suggestions. Maintaining consistency and adhering to your strategy is critical, so make sure you have a community manager who is solely responsible for this.