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Getting to know each other online

In block 3 we already knew our students and students knew each other. We have to think about getting to know each other in a digital way for the next block.

Mathil Gelens
30 maart 2020


  1. Karin Smit
    Karin Smit

    One thing is certain: do not skip it! As we are not able to meet in person, it might be even more important to spend time to get to know each other.
    The first tip: think of the regular ‘getting to know each other’ activities and try to translate them in an online activity in the most simple way. Some examples:
    1. Ask students at what time they have to get up in the hard-copy world to be at the uni at 9 o’clock.
    a. You can use Teams and ask students to write it down in the chat. That is the most simple way.
    b. Open Padlet, ask students to write their name and time in padlet, enable students to shift the content and let them make the line.
    2. In Teams: Ask students to share something that represents them: a songtekst, a picture, a quote, a work of art, a role model, and ask students to share this in front of the camera.
    3. In Teams in the chat function: Ask students one by one to write three things about themselves, with one of the things not true. The others answer in the chat. Take turns, so it is structured. And ask all students for an answer (give attention to all).
    4. Make groups in Teams and ask students to show their keys and tell something about themselves by means of their keys.
    f. A tip from Casper Hulshof: ask students to share their Guilty Pleasure! Can be done in a Team environment: one by one.
    Other suggestions are welcome!
    Good luck and by the way: one of my guilty pleasures is ‘Een beetje verliefd’ by Andre Hazes. Nice to get acquainted!

  2. Hetty Grunefeld (O&T)
    Hetty Grunefeld (O&T)

    There are many of these icebreakers or playful activities to start a course or a training session.
    One reason why it is important to get people talking about personal things, is that it is useful for social and academic integration. If you are member of a small group of students who know each other well, it will probably help to overcome difficulties, and to persevere in the course.
    What I like best is looking for activities that are linked to the content of the course, the learning objectives, or to the ways of working in the course. For example,
    – Make groups for break-out tasks and homework group tasks, e.g. channels in Teams.
    – Ask students to not only discuss the task, but also their personal reaction to the task – what do you like about this task, and why?
    – Ask students in homework tasks to also share what they did just before the group work started, and how they feel about it (happy, satisfied, angry etc). Stimulate the groups to ask why, what happened. It helps making the transition to focussing on the work of the group.
    Please add more ideas!

  3. Danielle Vlaanderen
    Danielle Vlaanderen

    I would think that getting to know eachother is not a one moment activity during the first course day. It requires ongoing attention. I would search for a question or activity that combines the course content with getting acquainted. The moments where students work together in their projectgroup is the moment where attention can be not only on the task but also on the people in the group. Having a project group talk about the qualities of each individual, the diversity of perspectives, what they want to master better, what do we (projectgroup) want to create together, works well for the connection in the small group. Being curious ourselves who are in our groups and how the dynamic between the people in the projectgroups works, will also set a tone and helps to connect. Maybe this collaboration grid is helpfull. https://samenwerkingsvragen.sites.uu.nl/

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