Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Online Team Building - Icebreakers

One of the most difficult tasks an online instructor faces each semester is transitioning their "virtual" students into an engaging online community. Even though some students may enroll in an online course because they don't want to deal with annoying classmates, establishing some sense of community so that students don't learn in total isolation is still needed.

In order to create some sense of community right from the start, many online instructors will require some sort of introductory icebreaker activity. I really enjoyed the following article where an instructor explains how she was able to tweak her icebreaker activity to increase the response from her students. Students actually ended up communicating with each of the other students and earned bonus points doing it!

Another twist on an introductory icebreaker would be to use a social media tool that so many people use today! Did you know that you can create a secret board that only your students can pin to? Once this board is set up and students are invited, you could have them pin something to the board that best defines their favorite thing(s). It could be a past time, a hobby, type of music, books, etc. This is a great networking activity that will spur discussion among your students about the various links they share while they end up discovering commonalities among their classmates.

Check out this link to Secret Boards Basics

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