building community in the college classroom

See more ideas about responsive classroom, whiteboard messages, morning messages. I have recently created a small group “syllabus scavenger hunt” activity to replace the standard class-long presentation of the syllabus that tends to put everyone to sleep. The current moment has highlighted a lot of inequities in this respect, including students’ hesitancy at times to have their camera on during classes and other gatherings. As such, these recommendations can be adapted to any institution that, prior to COVID-19, offered primarily in-person instruction and on-campus student experiences. And the reasons behind the distance learning (school closures due to COVID-19) make relationships and community all the more important. These are extremely low-stakes writing assignments designed to get the students into the habit of researching, reflecting and writing -- three things that are clearly associated with learning outcomes for freshman composition courses. Sometimes students push back because they don’t have the time to attend campus events. (1999). Building the community for your classroom and your students will give you the opportunity to engage your students and their families. In that case, I also offer them the chance to read material on the history of the college and write a 250-word response reacting to what they’ve read and learned. Though we recognize the importance of building community and fostering belonging within the classroom, this brief focuses on those opportunities and activities that build community and foster belonging outside of the classroom. Sep 21, 2020 - Building Classroom Community Teaching Ideas and Resources: Teaching classroom culture, Morning Meetings, Fostering respect and kindness in the classroom. Essentially, the app allows an instructor to create a workspace under which channels can be created for each class. 2015 NFPA 101: A college classroom building is a Business occupancy. Ask students to familiarize themselves with campus resources and bring such resources into your classroom. Sean Gerrity is an assistant professor of English at Hostos Community College of the City University of New York. Decades of research has demonstrated that students who have a strong sense of belonging at their institutions are more likely to persist and graduate, especially true for students from lower-income and first-generation backgrounds and communities of color. Another important strategy is to fold the expenses associated with all required tools and resources (e.g., books, laptops, broadband access, etc.) Providing students with a variety of different opportunities to share experiences, and feedback is also important. Texas A&M and Lehigh, among others, also had success with old-fashioned phone campaigns to connect with new students or gather information from current students about their circumstances. 6 East 32nd Street, 10th Floor, New York, NY 10016 Schriver, J., & Teske, N. (2020). Hoffman, M., Richmond, J., Morrow, J., & Salomone, K. (2003). Students need the opportunity to share their experiences and provide feedback, now more than ever, but without in-person interactions, administrators and staff have to be more intentional in giving students’ meaningful opportunities to do so. Program staff and administrators can also schedule town hall meetings and other Q&A sessions, specifically for the purpose of providing students the opportunity to share. How to teach online so all students feel like they belong. But I would argue that frontloading one’s course with carefully planned and orchestrated icebreaker activities has immense payoff for the rest of the semester -- and that introducing them early on will actually enhance instruction and course outcomes in the long run. [26],[27] Colleges and universities can no longer rely as heavily on the energy, passion, and care that these student leaders exude in-person, yet all of these qualities must be harnessed and utilized in remote environments. Learn more at http://studentsuccess.tamu.edu/First-Generation/First-Generation-Learning-Communities/Ignite. Improving the Financial Security of Low-income Students to Improve College Completion. Building a sense of community among students and faculty provides a powerful network of support and comradery among its members. They may feel forced, awkward or like a waste of time that could be better spent on what we perceive as our primary job in the classroom: instruction. The effectiveness of a communication method (e.g., individual, group, or mass outreach) or platform may vary by topic and by student, and institutions should use evidence to determine how students respond to different types of messages and which students may benefit most from targeted outreach and engagement. Ithaka S+R helps academic and cultural communities serve the public good and navigate economic, technological, and demographic change. Anticipating college graduation: The concerns and coping methods of college seniors. Instructors have temporary experiences with groups of students each semester. Community college students often don’t have time to attend freshman orientations, so it can be hard for them to know about and navigate the many resources that are available to them as students at the college. By reading and reflecting on that history, I invite them to contemplate their own student life as part of a long, rich tradition at the college. For example, the ACREW (Aggie Collegiates Ready to Explore the World) and Ignite programs at Texas A&M invited students to bring a family member, or even a pet, to a special virtual dinner event, giving students, staff, and family members the opportunity to meet one another and build relationships. Leadership rooted in empathy is of the utmost importance during these times. Beauchamp, J., Schwartz, E., & Pisacreta, E. D. (2020, August 27). Identifying and developing common bonds between students is more challenging, but just as vital to building community in a virtual environment. In one, I ask students to learn everything they can about a specific campus resource -- by looking it up online, by visiting the office and speaking with staff -- and to then produce a written reflection that summarizes what this resource has to offer and what the student experienced finding out about it. 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Every institution we spoke with emphasized how students do not always have a home environment that is conducive to learning, and that it is necessary to have some grace, whether with deadlines, responsiveness, level of participation, or otherwise. The program provides academic, financial, and social support to help students attain a bachelor’s degree at Indiana University. in ️ Theme Ideas on F3X Building ⚒ Community Board College Classroom. Straddling the San Rafael Hills overlooking nearby canyons and parks, Glendale Community College is a diverse, 100-acre center of learning for over 19,000 students. While most state licensing agencies and professional associations require continuing education credits for professional certificati… [19] The pandemic has also magnified existing societal inequalities in access to healthcare and technology, which, now more than ever, can impede students’ access to and participation in college classes and other activities. Use of any of these channels is with a core objective in mind: the development of deep relationships with students. By assisting with activities such as event planning and curriculum writing, student leaders share their expertise and insight with college administrators and then the information and sense of belonging trickles down to other students. Student stories and survey data from spring and summer 2020 offer a consistent theme: college students are feeling disconnected from their college experience. Building a strong classroom community is key for creating a safe, productive learning environment. (2020). We know that students’ needs vary, so institutions should differentiate the type, and level, of their support in response. ithakasr@ithaka.org, This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution/NonCommercial 4.0 International License. ATI members—all graduating at least 70 percent of their students within six years—have joined together to address this challenge. As many students return to live at home while campuses are closed, engaging family members is an even more important part of cultivating a sense of belonging amongst students and can have positive impacts on their academic outcomes. Move students’ desks together so that they work cooperatively. The overarching goal of the program is to provide opportunities for students from backgrounds underrepresented in STEM fields to develop outstanding scientific skills in an environment that emphasizes preparation for leadership in addressing the increasingly complex issues facing the sciences, engineering, and society in the 21st century. As the fall 2020 semester begins, colleges and universities should prioritize efforts to build community and foster a sense of belonging among students, even if they cannot return to campus in-person. This practice brief outlines seven (7) practices that can be part of a comprehensive strategy, drawing from both the research literature on this topic and the insights and experiences from spring 2020 of the administrative staff at six colleges and universities, all members of the American Talent Initiative (ATI). Building Minds. [23] In spring 2020, many institutions scrambled to provide laptops and Wi-Fi hotspots to students in need, support they should maintain into the fall and beyond. Collaboration can also involve individuals, business, and other groups in the broader campus community. These activities, such as campus-wide events, one-on-one advising appointments, career development workshops, and mentorship programs, help students develop a sense of belonging at the institution, improve their academic experience, and boost their chances of graduating. Although there are numerous published “ice-breakers,” many of these techniques are not specific to psychology courses or have been used so much that the students see them as redundant and cliché. We decide to what degree we will work towards student engagement and transformation within our … I’ve asked students to write a summary of what the club does and has to offer, and why students might want to join it. scholarly record and to advance research and teaching in Building Community in the College Classroom discusses best practices, techniques, activities, and policies that can be used by college instructors to develop a sense of supportive classroom community within traditional, hybrid and online college courses. They can help build a sense of trust and togetherness between peers and with their teacher. Investigating ‘sense of belonging’ in first-year college students. Using the lessons from spring 2020 as a guide, we have devised these seven practices to inform institutions’ plans for engaging students in a remote campus community during the fall and beyond. I ask students to create usernames that are their real names and to add a picture of themselves to their profile. Learn more at https://groupsscholars.indiana.edu/. One challenge every community college instructor faces is building a sense of community for students who are all commuters. I have experimented in the past with other high-tech apps for similar purposes, but I’m trying out Slack specifically for two reasons. These … The administrators we interviewed recommended that these resources be focused on topics such as coursework, advising, financial aid, mentoring, and more. We can also enhance student buy-in by making these icebreaker activities related to the course, however tangentially. Building community in an online classroom takes time, noted Donovan, and that downside can discourage professors from trying. I find this also demonstrates the extent to which I value them as individuals in classes that can often contain almost 30 students. We augment the insights from these conversations with information from other sources, including a review of research literature related to the approaches to and benefits of building community and student belonging. College Classroom. Demonstrating care and compassion for students’ feelings, experiences, and circumstances is morally right and essential to cultivating a sense of student belonging; perhaps more so now, than ever. In-person interactions are an important component of relationship-building, essential for ensuring that students engage in open, honest dialogue about personal experiences and provide direct, constructive feedback. [8] In utilizing these practices, an institution can address the holistic needs of students—from their financial and academic needs to their social-emotional needs—and center the student perspective and experience in their decision-making processes. First, it has applicability outside of college, which can create initial student buy-in. Abelson, J., Dungca, N., Kornfield, M., & Ba Tran, A. According to the administrators we interviewed, students at their institutions communicate with their peers often on apps such as GroupMe, Discord, HouseParty, and other social media platforms. A quick activity or two during the first few weeks of school is not enough to build a positive classroom environment. [20], In spring 2020, many institutions provided emergency aid to students, using institutional resources, new philanthropic funds, and CARES Act allocations. A Checklist for Building Community in the College Classroom. [4],[5], Yet, in spring 2020, many colleges and universities abruptly closed their campuses in response to the spread of COVID-19, preventing them from hosting any in-person activities, including classes, athletics, and student-centered events. The consequences of a global health pandemic, historic economic recession, and a national awakening to persistent systemic racism are impacting the health and well-being of all students, especially those who are disproportionately affected by these crises. academic community use digital technologies to preserve the Recently, I’ve been experimenting with using the free app Slack to create a virtual extension of our physical classroom. It aids in the retention of students and in their overall college experience, but it is difficult and requires some creative thinking, writes Sean Gerrity. Disrupting postsecondary prose: Toward a critical race theory of higher education. (2020). COLLEGE Team-building activities in college can help students get to know one another, establish trust and function well together, both in the classroom or in shared living situations. The American Talent Initiative (ATI) is a Bloomberg Philanthropies-supported collaboration between the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program, Ithaka S+R, and a growing alliance of colleges and universities dedicated to substantially expanding opportunity and access for low- and moderate-income students. Talk about filling buckets. It essentially creates a large group chat for the class. [45],[46] Cultivating student belonging in a virtual context will not be easy. For example, faculty opted to avoid single-question pages in virtual assignments and exams, despite the fact that the practice discourages cheating, since loading new pages was more difficult for students with limited broadband access. [1],[2],[3] These programs and supports are especially important for students from historically underrepresented backgrounds, whose experiences of exclusion on campus can impede their progress to graduation. Stages of student departure: Reflections on the longitudinal character of student leaving. These plans were shared across departments to foster increased collaboration and encourage the sharing of ideas. For example, incoming first-year and transfer students are likely to need more support establishing peer-to-peer connections than will rising seniors. As COVID-19 precipitated a wave of closures, colleges and universities across the country made significant efforts to meet students’ evolving needs and keep them connected to their peers and to the institution. As such, colleges and universities across the country need to ensure the presence of a comprehensive strategy to support students remotely and offering virtual activities that promote a sense of belonging. Strategies for ensuring that students in every grade feel like they’re part of the classroom community. [35] Finally, regardless of class year or program, Black, Indigenous, and students of color experience a lower sense of belonging than white students, and may need specific supports or opportunities to convene with others who share a common identity.[36]. Schwartz, E., & Davidson Pisacreta, E. (2020). Create a virtual extension of your classroom via Slack. Actions. Building positive community starts with the first day of school -- actually, it starts beforehand. I offer students a small amount of extra credit if at any point in the semester they are able to stand up in front of the class and name every one of their classmates. ATI members, generally, have far greater resources and enroll far fewer lower-income students than other colleges and universities. We heard from every administrator interviewed that departments and divisions at their institutions prioritized collaboration in order to meet students’ needs during the switch to remote learning in spring 2020. Indiana University’s Groups Scholars Program, for example, organized live “What’s the Tea?” Q&A forums (recorded for those students who could not attend live), where students could engage in conversations about their experiences amidst the pandemic and ask questions in an open forum about campus resources. (I’m hoping this will also help me learn all of their names faster.) Is it warm? You can reach out to your students with a welcome letter to let them know how excited you are for them to be in your class and what appealing projects you plan to do over the coming year. Rooted in empathy is of the classroom community is teacher-speak for saying we..., Frederick, J., Buckley, J to strengthen your classroom community,.. Pisacreta, E. ( 2020 ) take time to attend campus events a... Financial need for four consecutive years can get to know each other equity into their digital pedagogy,... Many of our physical classroom assignments to develop knowledge and skills for effective classroom management 's need for consecutive. And then switch them up so that financial aid packages will cover these essentials many institutions were primarily on! To address this challenge physical classroom It’s never too Early to start thinking about, preparing,... These brief moments have the power to change lives so that they cooperatively! In particular in classes that can often contain almost 30 students to Remote learning survey data from spring and 2020! Online teaching tactics are valuable Practices under normal circumstances but will be collaborative... Not be easy grants, work-study, and small loans objective in mind: the concerns coping! Change lives and then switch them up so that financial aid packages will cover these.! 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