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Are there any institutions using groups or courses to create a sense of place for students in an entirely online school?

We are trying to create some student resource centers - Student Life, Library, Cafe, etc. to encourage community and a sense of place for our virtual students. Any ideas or suggestions?  @srobinson ​

4 Replies
Community Coach
Community Coach

Deactivated user, here are the links to two great discussions about using Canvas courses and groups for non-academic purposes:

Also, this seems more like a discussion than a question (with a right or wrong answer). Would it be ok if I went ahead and switched this to a discussion? Thanks!

Yes, please move it to the appropriate place! Thanks!

Community Coach
Community Coach

 @mhintze ​...

Great question!  I provided some feedback in the first link that  @kona ​ referenced in her reply.  Would it be ok with you if I shortened your topic title and tagged it with keywords, too?  By doing these things, your topic will be easier for people to search in case others have similar questions.  After I change the title, if it doesn't reflect what you are asking, we can always change it to something else.  Thanks.

Community Champion


I created an account level group specifically for our online-only students.  In this group, they can make their own discussions in which to interact outside of the classroom. Also, we have started a monthly "conference" where the students, whether in a class or not, can gather with us as the Distance Ed department and interact and get to know each other better.  It's also a handy location to place a "Canvas Tips and Tricks" page that I created and which I'm constantly updating. Finally, it's how I let our online-only students know about upcoming Canvas updates/changes and to discuss whether or not a particular feature which I can enable/disable would be useful for them.