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Building Community In An Online-Only Statics Class
Statics is usually the first class students take in Engineering at [university]. In Fall 2020 no student meetings were allowed, but research tells us that students connectedness is correlated with their success.
Students were surveyed and split into 25-person learning communities. Each learning community was assigned a paid undergraduate learning assistant. Breakout sessions were populated with five people from these learning communities. The learning assistants attended class to answer questions during class. Student breakout session groups were rotated after each exam though learning communities remained the same. After the semester students had worked with a majority of the 25 people in their learning communities.
Students were surveyed mid-semester and at the end of the semester to assess their feelings of community. Additionally the learning assistants were asked about the activity in the learning communities mid semester and at the end of the semester.