UMass Boston

Staying Connected

Virtual Office Hours

Making Virtual Appointments

  • "I use calendly to allow my students to setup a 15 minute appointment with me at a time that works for both of us - it is based on my calendar so we don't end up emailing back and forth - this is for virtual meeting over zoom and is more efficient than extending office hours."
    -Rebecca J Hogue (Lecturer, Department of Curriculum & Instruction)

Connecting Students to Each Other

Social Annotations

  • Guide for Students on Social Annotations
    See more details on Prof. Oleksiak's strategies for creating community and planning for student absences in the recording of the Jan 20 TEACH session
    "This engagement works best with open access material or material that is created in accessible documents. Faculty may need to reformat documents to ensure greater accessibility. While I choose to use Perusall and link it to my Blackboard classroom, I can see this working equally well with Google Docs."
    -Timothy Oleksiak (Assistant Professor, Department of English)

Encouraging Collaboration on Homework

  • Ten Steps to Help Students Succeed
    Included in the summary provided are several ideas for encouraging students to connect and collaborate in learning, including exchanging contact information, encouraging students to work on homework together, and reminding students that learning happens together.
    -Charles Wibiralske (Lecturer and Course Coordinator for MATH 114QR, Department of Mathematics)

Group Projects

  • Online Group Projects
    "I think that setting up group projects is one of the better ways to get students to connect with each other and helps students who are absent stay connected to what is happening in the classroom - you cannot assume students know how to do this virtually. I've written my tips at the link."
    -Rebecca J Hogue (Lecturer, Department of Curriculum & Instruction)

Connecting through Music

  • "I started each class with a song of the day."
    -Mark Schafer (Senior Lecturer, Department of Latin American/Iberian Studies)
  • "I created a class playlist on Spotify and invited every student to contribute one favorite song (no explicit lyrics allowed). I arrived 10 minutes early to each class and put the playlist in Spotify on the speaker until the class starting time. I found that it gave students a way to connect with each other to talk about the music, especially when the song that they contributed came up."
    -Hannah Sevian (Professor, Department of Chemistry, and Associate Provost)
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