By Cheryl Colan

Just in time to welcome our faculty back from winter break, I ran across a tweet about activities for building community in classes that are taught synchronously or asynchronously online:

Baha Mali, a faculty developer at American University in Cairo, has been helping to curate this wonderful selection of equitable community-building activities as an OER (open educational resource). Each resource includes:

  • a video that demonstrates or describes the activity or exercise for community-building
  • descriptive text or instructions for the activity
  • slides you can reuse or adapt (where relevant)
  • a linked list of any additional resources needed
  • an estimate of how much time you need for the activity
  • different variations on the activity to help you adapt it to fit your need and purpose

If you have 3 minutes, the curators explain the collection here:

Closed captions are available via the CC button.

You can browse all the activities or search by resource type, such as Introductory activities, Ongoing engagement, Setting the tone activities, Warm up activities, and more. You’ll find excellent ideas you can use right at the start of the semester, and others to keep your community of learners connected throughout the course. My picks to kick off the semester are both under “Setting the tone activities”: either Annotate the Syllabus, or Authentic Open Letter/Video Addressing Students.

You can explore and select from the list of over 40 activities curated by at least 16 education experts from around the world (including Mays Imad of Pima Community College, close to home!). You may want to save the link so you can go back for more. Start here:

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