Ways to connect with your online classmates during a time of social distancing

by | Mar 22, 2020
Now that you are an online student, you may find yourself wondering how to stay connected with your classmates. While it may feel challenging at first, you can make friends just as easily as you did in the traditional classroom.

  1. Introduce yourself
  2. While you may know your classmates from having physically been with them at the beginning of the semester, be sure to introduce yourself again in case they have not put a face with a name or vice versa. Respond to their introduction posts to make them feel welcome, as well. This is a great way to calm everyone's nerves to the newly online model and make them feel comfortable. You never know, you may end up connecting with someone who you never thought you would have!

  3. Use the provided discussion boards
  4. Just as discussions are a vital part of a traditional class, they are equally important in an online course. They are not only essential to connect with other classmates, but can often be a part of your overall grade. Check with your professor to see if your contribution to the discussion board is part of the course now, and be sure you know how to access, comment, and respond to posts. 

  5. Connect on Social Media
  6. Having been in a traditional classroom together already, you may be connected to many of your classmates on social media already. However, if not, now is an excellent time to connect on another platform. Of course, make sure you reach out via the online course to let them know you’d like to connect before hitting "send" and adding to their list of random friend requests. Communicating outside of the class discussions will help you form stronger connections and gain new friends!

  7. Have virtual study sessions
  8. Once you've introduced yourself and people know how to connect with you, feel free to reach out to your classmates and have virtual study sessions. You can hold study sessions over Facetime, Zoom, Google Hangout or even create a Facebook group where you can do a Facebook live or watch party! 

  9. Remember you aren't alone
  10. Taking courses online may feel like you're on an island, but remember, you are not alone! If you take advantage of tips 1-4, you are sure to be successful in your online course. 

Below is a list of additional resources on how to keep learning via alternative online modes of course delivery and ways to stay connected: