This option gives you the chance to explore and articulate your own teaching philosophy toward building community in an online environment.
This module has invited you to examine some of the theoretical frameworks behind community building in online teaching and learning, focusing on the notions of teacher presence, social presence, and humanizing pedagogy. You may have also chosen to review the many strategies we might use to create community in our courses in OPTION 1. This option asks you to consider these elements as you reflect on their impact and shape your own teaching philosophy towards community building in online teaching and learning.
- Read through the guiding questions.
- Read a blog post and an academic article.
- Reflect on your own teaching philosophy towards community building.
- Choose between the following two activities or do both:
Time: Depending on your level of engagement, this option should take between 2 – 3 hours to complete.
- What is my own philosophy towards community building in an online course?
- How do I view the role of the teacher in building community in an online course? What is the role of the students?
- How can I communicate this philosophy in my own online course?
Reading: Listed here are two readings related to this module. Begin with the blog post. If you have more time and want to learn more about student and faculty perceptions of community building, read the academic article as well.
- Read the following blog post by Catherine Denial on the Pedagogy of Kindness where she talks about how her own teaching philosophy has changed over the course of her career. (20 – 30 minutes)
- Read the following academic article entitled Key elements of building online community: Comparing faculty and student perceptions. (30 -40 minutes)
Time: 45 minutes – 1 hour
Your understanding of the role of community building in the classroom will necessarily be informed by your own understanding of what it means to teach and learn. This activity is an opportunity to reflect on your view of the role of a teacher or facilitator in building community in an online course, to articulate this understanding in your teaching philosophy, and to share your ideas with your peers in a video and an online discussion forum.
Step 1: Reflect on your teaching philosophy as it relates to building community in an online classroom. View this as an opportunity to begin crafting your own teaching philosophy towards community building in online environments. You may use the following questions to guide your reflection:
- How do you view the role of the teacher in building community in an online course?
- What is a metaphor that describes your approach to community building in an online course?
- What are the most necessary qualities or characteristics of an educator who creates genuine community in their online course?
- How can an educator best ensure an engaged community in an online course?
Click here to begin the activity and share your reflection with your peers.
Time: Approximately 20 to 30 minutes
For this activity, you are asked to consider your own teaching philosophy towards community building in the online classroom and choose a metaphor that best represents this philosophy.
Step 1: Reflect on your teaching philosophy towards community building as a part of online learning.
Step 2: Find an image that best represents a metaphor for your philosophy towards community building in online courses. You will find an example in the link below. To find open access images, click here [new tab].
Step 3: Post your image with a brief description of what it represents on our collaborative gallery wall.
Step 4: Once a few peers have posted, comment on at least one other participants image. Click here [new tab] to begin the activity.
If you wish to share other thoughts, ideas, or questions about this content, please feel free to share in the module discussion forum here.
Denial, C. (2019). A Pedagogy of Kindness. Hybrid Pedagogy. Retrieved on April 10, 2020 from https://hybridpedagogy.org/pedagogy-of-kindness/
Vesely, P., Bloom, L., & Sherlock, J. (2007). Key elements of building online community: Comparing faculty and student perceptions. MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 3(3), 234-246.