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I am a TA for a class designed to bring a group of about 25 students together as a cohort starting their freshman year of college. They are in the same department so they will be mostly taking similar classes for awhile.

By the way this class meets weekly.

When I TAed this class last fall community building was a huge focus of mine. As such we did do an ice breaker and a scavenger hunt towards the beginning of the class but that was about it. I couldn't think of anything else to do. At the end of the quarter we did do a sort of "show and tell" for cool things students had done (sky diving, making rockets, baking, art etc).

The goal for me would have been that by the end of the quarter they would all know each-other decently well and would have a sense of solidarity. A stretch goal would be that they would feel comfortable hanging out with each-other outside of classes for studying or just exploring the area around campus.

None of this really happened with my class unfortunately. I think part of it is I just didn't do a lot to encourage this sort of thing to spring up. Additionally I was not in control of the curriculum/schedule so while things like the student showcase may have been more effective early on they were not so effective later in the quarter when I could control the class topic.

This year I am moderately in charge of the curriculum and I want to do something cool with it. The current plan is to roughly stick with the same schedule from last year but in my opinion it didn't work. Students didn't have a good chance to get to know each-other nor work together early on.

I have been looking for ideas of how to improve things here or stories of successful classes like this one but I am really having a difficult time finding good examples/resources. Everything I find seems to be geared for much younger kids or thinks ice breakers are actually the only/best way to get your class to interact with each-other.

Do you have any tips/ideas/resources I might be able to leverage to make this next year's class special?

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    Building community is a worthy goal, but it seems like a departmental goal, rather than a course-level goal. Can you move your efforts from your course to the department?
    – user2768
    May 8, 2019 at 8:55
  • Certainly and I do try there and they do agree and do things like off campus after hours meetups for the students. However those dont feel like they are as effective at building community as suddenly we are talking about 300+ potential attendees. They have these sections specifically to break things down to a smaller group.
    – J.Doe
    May 8, 2019 at 17:20

1 Answer 1

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Find the most acknowledged coleague, meaning find the coleague who is the most liked, and try to have a conversation with him/her,

if you find oppenness, then try to leverage his group-social position for the better of the group outcome.

If your coleague is receptive, you can create a organizational structure, in wich all your coleagues should be involved,

Create exuberance ,use emotions, and use a group dialogue where the team should be in a conecction ring for the future.

Make the argument that all who want to achieve something, will have greater chances if part of a group of proffesionals, must attend this group effort, give a hand to the team, and all will win in the long run.

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