General description of the project:
Online students benefit from a strong online community outside of their classes. Social media groups on Slack, Discord, and Facebook can contribute to community building. This project examines student community-building via social media with specific emphasis on an online doctoral program at Boise State University that I am part of. The doctoral program is 100% asynchronous online; students are never required to go to campus. Students enter the program in a quasi-cohort, taking the first two required classes together.
After the first semester, progression through program depends on each student’s individual path through the remaining requirements. At the outset of the program, students were encouraged to build a community space outside of the Canvas course sites. I created a Slack workspace for my cohort within the first three weeks of the program. The Slack space is active daily and serves as a place of social connection and academic and programmatic help. I also participate in other social media groups for graduate students.