Online course instruction can be an alienating and disorienting experience for both faculty and students interacting in an online environment. The emphasis for integrating various technologies is social engagement. Technology should naturally enhance social engagement and the instructor’s teaching style, not be central to it. Below are some suggestions for building community and creating an online rapport with students:
Images: In a secure setting, such as Laulima, students and faculty can upload images and say something about themselves -this is a common strategy. However, culturally responsive techno-pedagogy views student experiences and background knowledge as an intellectual resource. One key to building community is developing engaging activities which allow students to get to know each other and their instructor interactively. “Guess who” activities allows students to share weekly interesting tidbits about themselves, as other students in the class guess which of their classmates shared that week.
Video: Short video is becoming easier to record and upload. Most cell phones are able to record and send short videos. Video content can be content-based, informal introductions, or feedback on specific topics or content. CTE can assist faculty in showing them how to record short videos with their cell phones, iPads, or computers and share with the class.
Audio: Audio feedback on projects and papers is another way faculty may further engage with students in an online course. There are now multiple ways for embedding an audio file in text. During a scheduled consultation, CTE can assist faculty in selecting one that has pragmatic applications to their own purpose and teaching style.
Faculty are welcomed and encouraged to post their own ideas and suggestions below.