5 Ways to Connect with your Online Classmates

By Alyssa Laffitte on April 14, 2018

Online classes are becoming more popular nowadays. Not only are they convenient, but they are excellent at teaching students time management, discipline, responsibility, and independent study skills. However, with an online class, the social aspect is missing. You don’t physically see your classmates three times every week, so it’s hard to connect with them. Even though you might never see them in person, it’s still a good idea to make friends with your online classmates. But how can you make friends with these people you don’t see? Here are five ways to connect with your online classmates.

Image via Isorepublic.com

Introduce yourself at the beginning of the semester

Online classes usually start with a “get to know you” session that will allow you to introduce yourself to your new classmates. It is pretty much the online class equivalent of when professors go around the room on the first day asking everyone their name and major. Take advantage of this! Introduce yourself to your classmates by telling them your name, major, and your interests. You should definitely include your interests in your introduction, as it will make it easier to find friends in your online class. You never know if one of your online classmates loves the same band or TV show that you do!

You should also respond to your classmates’ introduction posts if they mention something you are interested in. They will be glad to know they have something in common with you.

If you want to connect with your online classmates, introduce yourself at the beginning of the semester, and respond to others’ introduction posts.

Use the class discussion boards

Class discussions can be an important part of a traditional class. Unfortunately, online classes don’t allow for this format of class discussion. For this reason, class discussion boards are important for discussions in an online forum. Participating in these discussions is good for your grade, because some classes will require discussion forum posts as assignments, and you might also be expected to respond to your classmates’ posts.

These discussion forums are not only important for your grade, but also for your connections with your classmates. If you made friends during the introductions at the beginning of the semester, you can respond to their discussion forum posts, and they might even respond to yours!

The class discussion boards are important for making friends in online classes, since online classes don’t allow for traditional classroom discussions.

Follow each other on social media

You might think it’s weird to follow people you don’t really know on social media, but if you have introduced yourself to a classmate during the introductions at the beginning of the semester and you have common interests, it won’t be weird! Communicating outside of the online classroom will help you form a stronger connection with these people. You can talk about things other than schoolwork, which will be quite a relief.

So don’t be afraid to follow them on Instagram or add them as a friend on Facebook. (Later on, when you know them better, you can even exchange phone numbers and start texting.) You never know if these people will become your close friends!

Have virtual study sessions

Online classes can be very lonely, since it is not like a traditional class where you see your classmates three times every week. In a traditional class, you can easily ask your classmate if she wants to study in the library with you after class; but you can’t do this if you are an online student. There is something else you can do, though. You can hold virtual study sessions over Skype or FaceTime!

It will be just like a traditional study session, where you and your classmates can work out problems or discuss the class material together. You will have the benefits of a group study session without physically meeting together. It will also, of course, help you connect even more with your online classmates. Schedule Skype study sessions before big tests, as it will help you not only prepare for the test, but also to make friends in your class.

Meet up face to face

If the online class is based in your local university, you might even be able to meet your online classmates in person! See if you can meet them for a study session (or even for lunch) on campus, especially if they physically take classes on campus (since they are likely to be there anyway). If possible, meeting one of your online classmates in person on campus will definitely help you connect with them.

Online classes are convenient and great for many reasons, but they can get lonely because you don’t physically see your classmates. It doesn’t have to be that way, though! If you follow the tips I mentioned, you will make great connections with your online classmates.

22, ISFJ. Biology student. College lifestyle blogger. Avid reader and writer. Dog lover. Nerd. Boyband enthusiast. Superhero in training. Here to help you become the best you can be!

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