Building and maintaining relationships is probably one of the most important aspects in a face-to-face classroom. However, it becomes even more important as instruction shifts to a remote nature.  Before assigning content for students to complete, please consider using some of the ideas below to build your remote classroom community and maintain the relationships that have been built during the first 6 months of school. 


Two way interactions allow for the educator to shape activity in real time by the reactions of learners. Interactive dynamics can foster engagement with commitment to the learning process. 

One way interactions identify important facts and objectives that need to be communicated.

Source: Ward, D. (2018). What's Lacking in Online Learning? Dreyfus, Merleau-Ponty and Bodily Affective Understanding. Journal of Philosophy of Education, 428-450.

Offline InteractionsOffline

Teaching, communication, or work that is completed without internet access.

Online InteractionsOnline 

Teaching, communication, or work that is dependent on internet access.


Method Description Technology Interactions

Social Media 
(Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.)

Message sharing through text, video, or pictures. Interactive communication may be limited. Staff should be aware of any relevant board policies or laws when using social media.

Online Two Way

Sending a card or letter.

Offline One Way
Text Message

Group or individual messages.

Offline Two Way
Group Icebreakers

Helps break down barriers and establish social links. Samples here

Online Two Way

Zoom Meeting or

Google Hangout

Video chat platform with large or small groups with screen sharing capabilities. Tips and Getting Started

Online Two Way

Video sharing platform. Staff can read books, teach lessons, or share information. Closed captioning can be added.

Recording Tools

Online One Way

Messaging app used to send information. Can be used to send and receive information.

Offline One Way

Information printed and sent on a regular basis.

Offline One Way

Send a question to all students and have them answer. Send responses back to all students to share with each other.

Online Two Way
Virtual Office Hours

Open time for students to call or video chat with questions.

Online Two Way
Reading Lits

Selected topical articles that are relevant to coursework.

Offline One Way

Take a picture of yourself doing something they can try at home, have students take a picture and share back. Try Padlet online.

Offline Two Way





“It is teachers who have created positive teacher student relationships that are more likely to have the above average effects on student achievement.”

~ John Hattie