Students need to build meaningful relationships in the community college. Meaningful social relationships help students feel more comfortable in the community college environment. These social relationships foster communication channels that give students needed information and as a result may improve student learning outcomes.
Developing a sense of belonging in the community college is harder for non-traditional students because they usually do not live on campus, and they have greater family and work responsibilities.
To navigate college, students most learn the non-written rules.
I was one of those non-traditional older students returning to the community college. I remember a young college student whom I knew because she was a friend of my son. She helped me learn my way around campus and assisted me as I registered for classes. She offered her notes from a Literature class she took the previous semester.
It is not easy to make sure that all students receive correct and clear information.
Further research is needed to fully understand the relationship between meaningful relationships and student learning outcomes.
Social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest can be used to increase student engagement and to foster relationships.
It is not enough to simply allow students to bring their laptop or cell phone to class.
Instructors should be proactive in redesigning curriculum to leverage social media tools that will engage students with the content and with each other.
How Non-Academic Supports Work: Four Mechanisms for Improving Student Outcomes (Melinda Mechur Karp)
Social media, digital literacy and curriculum (re)design (Helen Keegan)
Cutting-edge Social Media Approaches to Business Education (Charles Wankel)