Will I get to know my classmates?
Online classes often get a bad reputation for a supposed lack of networking opportunities. Many students believe they won’t get to know their classmates or gain the meaningful connections that attending a university can offer. However, in today’s world, online classes are flourishing, and so are the virtual relationships students are making. With a little tenacity and intention, getting to know your classmates in online courses can be easy and fun.
How can I connect with my classmates?
Use the online forums
Many online courses have an online discussion board where students can introduce themselves, ask each other questions, and complete assignments. These forums are the perfect place to start getting to know your classmates. Make sure to fully engage with the other students in your course’s discussion board by saying hello and including your interests, desired outcomes for the class, and study plans. You can also respond to people’s posts to begin making intentional connections.
Take advantage of built-in group activities
Group activities are an essential part of any course or program, and they can be a great way to meet your peers. Often, professors or instructors assign group projects that will contribute to your overall grade. Even online, projects like these give you opportunities to partner with other students and create deeper bonds with people in your class. Use the group activities to your advantage by being the kind of group member with whom people want to remain in touch. Ensure you attend all virtual group meetings, and see if you can get contact information from your group members.
Other group or partner assignments can include collaborative brainstorming, peer review of work, or peer instruction. Again, make sure to take advantage of every built-in assignment that encourages you to connect with other students. Doing this is one of the easiest ways to get to know your classmates.
Connect with classmates on social media
Connecting on social media platforms can be a great way to build relationships with your classmates. You can ask your classmates in advance if they’d like to connect on social media--your course’s online forums or chats could be very useful here. Alternatively, you could make a group specifically for your class on a social media platform like Facebook or LinkedIn or a messaging app. Many students feel more comfortable communicating this way, and it can be an effective method of building more relaxed relationships with others in your classes.
Create a virtual study group
Another way to get closer to your online classmates is to hold virtual study sessions. Study groups are proven ways to connect with classmates, retain the information you learn in class, and study for exams with like-minded people. Virtual study groups can be held over online meeting platforms like Zoom or Google Meet. They can also be supplemented with a group chat for your study group.
Hear from LSU Online Graduates
New online students may not fully grasp the value of getting to know their classmates in a virtual setting. However, as with a traditional university experience, connecting with classmates is one of the most rewarding parts of the journey.
At LSU Online, our students report success in getting to know their peers and making meaningful connections. These connections have contributed to an overall excellent experience for our learners:
"I've been able to make lifelong friends and confidants throughout the program. We keep in touch through phone calls, texts, and utilize all of the technology at our disposal for virtual meetings. We have learned each other's spouse's names, and children's names, and how we can align professionally. We celebrate successes on LinkedIn and through social media to boost each other up. It was a remarkable experience, and the friendships built will be lifelong."
-Patrick Murphy, National Account Manager: Assurant (Flores MBA 2022)
“The thing I’ve enjoyed most about the program is getting to know and working with other students. It’s been a really pleasant experience, and one of the biggest things I’ve learned is teamwork. Working together and playing to each other's strengths has been very beneficial and rewarding.”
-Mark Richard (Online MS in Engineering)
Get the Support You Need with LSU Online
While online degree programs may seem isolating at first glance, we know that building relationships with other students can be easy. The right attitude and a little effort can make a world of difference in how you connect with your fellow classmates. Additionally, LSU Online creates a virtual environment conducive to networking, building relationships, and working together. Are you interested in earning an online degree that encourages you to get to know your classmates? Explore our program options and get started today!
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