What’s your guilty pleasure TV show? You’re first pet? Where was your last vacation? Favorite song in high school? Of the following two sentences, pick which one is true about me: A) My hair is blonde B) I believe in the power of Ice Breakers for online teaching.
Nothing builds a community faster than allowing a group of individuals, sometimes perfect strangers, to share a silly little tidbit about themselves and bond over flavors of lattes, ice cream, or pizza toppings.
Online classes can be tension-filled places, especially for newcomers to the online format, and facilitators should take the opportunity to lower the anxiety often in the first few weeks of a course. Ice breakers work in the online classroom the same way they work in a face-to-face course, or your neighborhood Tupperware party – they allow each person the chance to share a little bit of themselves in a non-threatening environment, to get over the hurdle of the initial posting without fear of “the grade” or “judgment” of their classmates, and to connect with others they may never meet in person on a more personal level.
What’s the answer, you ask? American Idol, my dog Brandy, Chincoteague (of Misty fame), Van Halen’s Jump, and “B” – definitely “B”!
Anyone have a great online ice breaker to share?
Tags: Teaching, Education, Online, eLearning, Communities of Practice, Web2.0, Ice Breakers