How To Set Up An Online Learning Community

Take control of your learning and develop your passion. Here’s how to set up an online learning community.

The option of taking online courses is becoming increasingly common, with U.S. News and World Report reporting that over 80 percent of colleges and universities offer at least one online education option. But because you’ll spend more time logged in, you’ll likely want to take online courses with a community of other online students, possibly on a “learn with” network. If you’re not sure where to start, we can help. Here’s how to set up an online learning community.

Step 1: Create a Account

Most online learning communities require you to create an account to access a classroom session or instructor’s private message or support. To set up an account on one of these sites, create a login for each site or the Facebook account for your employer. To join your professional network, see if your campus group is signed up.

Step 2: Browse to a Community

Most of these communities connect on the Alexa platform — free services including Amazon Alexa, Google Home and Microsoft OneNote. These services will send messages or invites to join the group you’ve selected, while linking your Amazon account to your university or college account. If your school group’s Facebook page is not yet connected to the community you’ve selected, see if it requires the use of an admin account, which sets up your personal profile within the community.

Once you’ve done this, log into the community. Once the link for the community link is opened, a chat room will appear, in which you’ll need to register your real name, university affiliation and the topic that you’re in conversation with. When you enter the chat room, you’ll be asked to describe the topic of your conversation, and to send a private message or share a private activity.

Once you’ve registered, you’ll want to sit in your private community room (or any number of public ones) and browse the website that the community is linked to — most sites take you to their website, not to the community’s website. Once you’ve done that, scroll past the membership page, which has links to a particular class, a teaching staff member, or a to a teacher you can join. You’ll notice that many of these sites allow you to join an established community, creating a “Facebook classroom” network. Once you’ve signed up for any community, you’ll need to do the same.

Step 3: Sign in

As a Facebook member, you will need to log in to the community you’ve selected on your desktop, followed by your phone. You can add your phone as well to access the feed. Once your phone is added, look at the list of other members, and click the search button that appears. This will take you to the public member list. You’ll need to search your network for the community you’ve selected.

Step 4: Join

Once you’ve signed in, you’ll be prompted to submit a comment or join a conversation. Once you have your community profile open, you can check out your activity page. For each activity you’ve participated in, you can see a bubble that will show which campus you’re connected to.

Step 5: Connect

Once you’ve checked your account, you’ll be asked to send a private message to the person you’re talking with. You’ll have to specify your area code and a few other basic details. The person will reply back to you, as will you. In addition to the student you’re chatting with, there will also be a machine learning bot that you can sign up to chat with. When you click on that button, you’ll be able to see whether or not you are connected to the public members you’ve chosen. If you are, you’ll have the option to join them. If you are not, you can be added to anyone else’s community. If you are already part of a community, however, you can’t join others.

When you’re finished with your private messaging session, and your private sessions have been blocked by the community manager, follow the rest of the process to join the public group. Just remember, joining a community is the first step in becoming a part of it.

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