Day 1 Block 1 Session 2: Building Thriving Online Communities by Empowering Students

Online Learning
Research to Practice Session
12:15 PM, Monday 17 May 2021 EDT (45 minutes)
  Virtual session
This session is in the past.
The virtual space is closed.
Virtual space archived
As students went home and classes moved online last year, key supports for academic success seemed to disappear. Worse, the loss of opportunities to socialize and work with others has disproportionately impacted historically underprivileged groups (e.g., Moore et al. 2021). Yet an increase in help-seeking behaviors has created new chances to support students and provide them with the means to thrive. Laurie Schreiners model of academic thriving (2010) puts social connectedness and diverse citizenship front and center: she advocates giving students meaningful ways of being involved in university life, partnering with them to contribute to their communities. This session shares our success in transforming a program known as Study Hubs, in which peer mentors helped students to set and meet their goals in regularly scheduled two-hour sessions, into an ongoing virtual opportunity that promotes a greater sense of efficacy, personal control, and connection for volunteers and participants alike. Furthermore, we will share how these volunteers from a diverse set of backgrounds, identities, and programs of study have been able to gain experience and join a newly formed work-study team predicated on commitment and engagement, in order to create a more equitable and inclusive hiring process.
University of Toronto
Learning Strategist, Peer Programs


    72 Attendees