Ways to Socialize With Fellow Online Students

When we talk about socializing, meeting friends over drinks sharing a good laugh is what comes to mind. That of course requires physical presence and may not be possible for some in today’s high tech world. Students interested in online courses often wonder whether the virtual presence would turn them into a “loner”. That concern, if not completely unreasonable, is however unfounded; online students do socialize, if not more than their traditional peers, then at least as much as them and this is how they do it.

1.From Online Students to Traditional Friends

Online schools do not discourage their students from hanging out, in the most traditional sense. You can meet with your online classmates, especially if they live in your town and city. According to an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education, online students with the help of Google hangouts are arranging meet ups. You may form a discussion group and meet every weekend, etc. This is one of the ways to get to know each other better, study together and help each other out with school work.

2.From Online Students to Virtual Friends

Facebook is a great way to connect with fellow students. For example, for your physics class, you can create a group and post questions and comments about tests and assignments. This is one of the most popular ways to socialize with fellow online classmates, and faculty members have learned the same; they are creating Facebook groups for their classes as well. In addition to Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, and Twitter offer ways to connect with other students as well.


Online schools are mindful of the fact that their students need to develop a wholesome personality like their traditional peers. Therefore, school projects and other academic activities are made part of the curriculum for students to develop social skills. Real time web conferencing tools that integrate whiteboard technologies, webcam, voice and chat, help facilitate students’ socialize online.

4.Adobe Connect Professional and Team Speak

Software and synchronous tools like Team Speak and Adobe Connect Professional, in world language courses, give students a chance to speak and understand the language they are learning. Students are able to not only communicate with their teachers but with each other as well, participating in different cultural experiences and dialogues.

5.Chat Rooms and Emails

These two are perhaps the two most traditional ways adopted by online students to stay in touch. Although they may be traditional, they are still the most effective.

6.Virtual Festivals

These festivals are organized by universities so that students, and academics, can socially interact and have fun together; an experience that students not only relate to but also participate in.

7.Virtual Clubs

Book, debate, art and photography clubs are often sponsored by universities to bring students from all over the country together, exposing them to different perspectives and promoting interaction among students from diverse backgrounds.

8.Online Students Aren’t Virtual Students Only

How much of online education is online? According to a Sloan Consortium report, online education is becoming less of distance learning and more hybrid or a blended-learning experience. This means that students take some classes online and others on campus. This gives them the opportunity to physically meet their online classmates and interact with them in a traditional way.

The traditional definition of socialization has changed to a degree. As more and more socialize online, different avenues become available for online students. So the next time you think distance learning programs will leave you stranded on an island, think again!

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