How do we ensure sufficient social cohesion and interaction in a situation where the possibilities for students to see each other and the staff in person are limited?
In general: in a situation where the teaching and contact that normally takes place on campus is to a considerable extent replaced by online activities, it is necessary to pay explicit attention to essential characteristics of the Twente vision on education and the Twente educational model (see educational framework). It is important that students know each other, know the programme (and that the programme knows them) and that students feel connected to the UT. We categorise the guidelines in this order.
Students know each other:
- Have study associations organise activities online and offline (taking the RIVM guidelines into account) that strengthen relations.
- Enable sufficient physical interaction in project groups during a module (see proposal projects and practicals).
- Give priority to first-year students.
- Consider making the project groups for first year students equal to the ‘do-groups’ (keep sufficient attention for students who did not participate in the kick-in).
Students feel connected to the program:
- All students see/meet their instructor at least once a week.
- Even if a course consists entirely of online self-study assignments and recorded video lectures, a contact moment is strongly recommended.
- Tutors contribute to familiarize students with the program (who is who, etc., but also what do we expect from each other)
- Organize (where possible on campus) meetings for first-year students in which they meet the staff of the program.
Students feel connected to the UT:
- Make explicit to students what the purpose and mission of the UT is (in the field of education and perhaps also research).
- Inform students about the organisation of the UT.
- Create opportunities for students to get acquainted with sports and cultural associations on campus, Student Union, student teams, etc.