Pedagogical Strategies for Building Community

Office hours

Having scheduled office hours provides students with an opportunity and a space to find community. Having a combination of scheduled office hours through Zoom or BbCollaborate and the opportunity to schedule  a meeting with the instructor allows for community building and helps students know there is a space where they can discuss questions or course concepts. 

Access Checks

Access checks at the beginning of course can help model the kinds equitable and inclusive community you wish to see in your course and course discussions. Here is a link with more information about Access Checks from the TATP at CTSI

Land Acknowledgement

Having a land acknowledgement in your course identifies an awareness of the community where you live and work. Here is a link to the UTM Indigenous Centre

Communication strategies

It is important to have channels for student to instructor (teaching assistant) communication and student to student communication. This can be email or this can be other instructional tools that would work best in your course such as discussion boards on Quercus, scheduled course announcements, or chat tool in BbCollaborate and Zoom.

Modelling Communication Strategies

Some pedagogical strategies that can help model communication and engagement are:

  • Creating a communication expectations together with the students as a collaborative document. 
  • Having a response time to emails on your syllabus

Create Discussion Groups or Have Group Assessments

Group assignments and group work can help engage students and build community. Research has also shown that group and community creation helps supports academic integrity.