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.

Creating Well-Paced, Socially Connected Courses

Creating Well-Paced, Socially Connected Courses is a self-guided workshop created by the CTE and colleagues. It is designed to be a compact remote learning experience that addresses common barriers for instructors who are accustomed to in-person teaching. Any instructor, including graduate students, can do the workshop, but it will especially benefit those who are transitioning their courses online. You will watch videos, respond to reflection questions, engage in a multimedia presentation, complete a worksheet, and be directed to additional resources.

Mostly Synchronous Interactive Lecture

See how you might have a mostly synchronous interactive lecture by watching the video below, and learn about what tools and techniques you can use as an instructor.

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.


Use these questions and strategies to guide your approach to assessment in a sudden shift to virtual learning.