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National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition

COVID-19 Resources for Educators

During this unprecedented time as our nation and world respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, educators have faced challenges on campuses across the world as our learning spaces have shifted. This page contains resources that you might find helpful in moving forward with decisions and actions that will best position your students for success.

Community Building in an Online First-Year Seminar Webinar Series

Community building is viewed as one of the most critical aspects of a first-year seminar. Creating a classroom community that promotes a sense of belonging has the power to positively impact student learning, success, and persistence to the second year and beyond.

This FREE, three-part webinar series shares practices to best serve your students in the event that you are teaching all or part of your first-year seminar online. 

Community Building should not be an after-thought. It should be integrated intentionally into the course from the first day to the last. This cornerstone of the first-year seminar is just as important, if not more important, when conducting a first-year seminar online. In this webinar, presenters will provide a framework for community building and specific strategies and practices that can be integrated into the online environment to help students get to know each other beyond their avatar.

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Group work is a high-impact activity that allows students to build rapport while exchanging ideas and creating quality work. In this webinar, presenters will provide both a framework for maximizing the community building aspects of group work as well as examples of group work and assignments that allow for collaboration and communication among students in an online setting.

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Active learning and student engagement enhance the experience of a first-year seminar for both the students and the instructor. Even in an online environment, it is possible and important to incorporate active learning strategies into lesson plans. In this webinar, presenters will provide examples of active learning strategies that all for high engagement in a synchronous online class.

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COVID-19 Related Resources

See below links to free resources from National Resource Center related to managing various aspects of higher education student transitions in settings impacted by COVID-19.

Chapter 8 | Engaging First-Year Students in Academic Planning (free excerpt) from Advising and the First College Year (full text available)

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