Building Community

Charlotte Matthews is an Associate Professor in the School of Continuing and Professional Studies. She has many years of experience teaching online in the School's Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies program and discovered what works and doesn't work for her during that time. Charlotte shares a few ways that you can try to build community in your synchronous online courses.

Student Perspectives

In the following videos, CTE undergraduate student consultants share their experiences at UVA, learning in Spring 2020, and when instructors have utilized their perspectives and expertise to improve a course. The hope is that instructors will work to build connections with students, solicit student input to make their courses better, and engage them as co-creators of their learning experiences—all of which are especially important in an online environment.

Syllabus Language

Guiding questions for instructors to consider as they prepare for the upcoming semester and language that instructors may add to course syllabi. Instructors are free to copy and modify any of this language to fit their context.

Redesigning Your Course for Online

In order to create a dynamic, present course that fosters a sense of community for instructor and students, it helps to intentionally design and foreground the ways that you will interact with students, the ways that students will interact with one another, and the ways that students will interact with the course material.

Group Work and Collaborative Learning

As you think about functional and effective ways to transition collaboration and group work online, consider the primary goals for collaborative learning in your course.

Discussion Courses and Sections

Seminar classes—typically relatively small, discussion-based classes—have a number of advantages for student learning. As you think about the best way to transition your course online, consider your primary course goals.

Inclusive Virtual Teaching

The current pandemic offers both opportunities and challenges for instructors committed to equitable, inclusive teaching. These strategies offer a few concrete and creative ways to intentionally amplify human connection, acknowledge varied and divergent experiences, and mindfully mitigate the negative impact of diminished bandwidth.

Student Presentations

Student presentations serve many purposes in coursework. As you think about the best way to transition presentations online, consider the primary goals for presentations in your course.

Community-Engaged Courses

For the 2020-2021 academic year, faculty and students doing community-engaged work face particular challenges. In the coming months, it will be essential to place the needs of community organizations before the pedagogical needs of our students. How can the University of Virginia be a good neighbor and a good partner?