2020 | 4 (86) | 72-78
Article title

Building a sense of community in online courses

Title variants
Languages of publication
From the first months of 2020, COVID-19 transformed the landscape of education world-wide. Numerous educational institutions were forced due to the circumstances of the pandemic to move their courses online. This was the case at Akita International University in Akita, Japan. As the semester came to a close in July 2020, students were given an opportunity to reflect on their experiences with online education via end-of-term course evaluations, focus groups, and public meetings with university administration. From the results of these opportunities to share experiences in remote and virtual education, the authors were reminded that online learning can be a lonesome endeavor. However, it does not need to be this way. A sense of community, camaraderie, and shared purpose can be developed within the online teaching and learning environment. This article will offer suggestions generated from the authors’ experience. All suggestions have the authenticity of having been successfully utilized in the authors’ online classrooms.
Physical description
  • Akita International University
  • Akita Prefectural University
  • Akita International University. (n.d.). About AIU. Retrieved November 12, 2020 from
  • Angelo, T. A., & Cross, K. P. (1993). Classroom assessment techniques: A handbook for college teachers (2nd ed.). Jossey-Bass.
  • Barkley, E. F., Cross, K. P., & Major, C. H. (2004). Collaborative learning techniques: a handbook for college faculty. Jossey-Bass.
  • Berko, R. (1998). Handbook of instructional options with test items. Houghton Mifflin Co.
  • Elliot, G., Kao, S., & Grant, A. (2004). Mattering: empirical validation of a social-psychological concept. Self and Identity, 3, 339-354.
  • Maslow, A. H. (1968). Toward a psychology of being (2nd ed.). Van Nostrand Reinhold.
  • McGlynn, A. P. (2001). Successful beginnings for college teaching. Atwood Publishing.
  • McMillan, D. W., & Chavis, D. M. (1986). Sense of community: A definition and theory. Journal of Community Psychology, 14(1), 6-23.;2-I
  • PechaKucha. (n.d.). About Us. Retrieved November 12, 2020 from,to%20streamline%20long%20design%20presentations
  • Rosenberg, M., & McCullough, B. C. (1981). Mattering: Inferred significance and mental health among adolescents. Research in Community & Mental Health, 2, 163-182.
  • Sarason, S. B. (1974). The psychological sense of community: Prospects for a community psychology. Jossey-Bass.
  • Strayhorn, T. (2018). College students' sense of belonging: A key to educational success for all students (2nd ed.). Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group. 10.4324/9781315297293
  • Toor, R. (2020, June 23). Turns out you can build community in a Zoom classroom. The Chronicle of Higher Education.
  • Tucker, C. (2020, March 20). Combating social isolation when learning remotely.
  • Walton, G. M., & Cohen, G. L. (2007). A question of belonging: Race, social fit, and achievement. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92(1), 82-96.
  • Wilkinson, J., & Ansell, H. (1992). On Teaching and Learning - Journal of the Derek Bok Center. Harvard University.
Document Type
Publication order reference
YADDA identifier
JavaScript is turned off in your web browser. Turn it on to take full advantage of this site, then refresh the page.