Building relationships with your students
Building relationship with and between your students and creating community online requires intention and effort. It is rarely something that simply emerges but rather must be created and nurtured by you, and your students too. As the instructor you have an important role to play in initiating and guiding the students introductions to you, and you to them, and them to one another. Check out the list of example questions you can use to ask your students and questions that students can ask each other to build relationship amongst peers.
Communicating in an online environment
Another important consideration in the development of community is the rules of engagement. Many students and faculty have not participated in an online learning environment so it is important to discuss expectations for the work you will be doing together. Check out this guide to help you become a more effective communicator when teaching online, while considering key elements like respectful spaces, security, and other communication tips with email and discussion boards.