Student Social Spaces

What are student social spaces?

The social connections, friendships and support that students give each other is important from an academic, social, and mental health point of view.

With many of our students studying remotely, the social connections that usually form naturally amongst students in an academic programme have been made more difficult. It can be a daunting prospect, especially for first-year students, to spark a conversation on Zoom or even to contribute to the discussion when they don’t know the other students in their class. Therefore, encouraging social engagement has benefits not just for wellbeing but also for learning. In this resource, we explore ways to help foster this sense of connection in a digital space. We highlight some of the tools and techniques you and your students can use to create social engagement (from simple activities through to virtual common rooms) and provide case studies from people who are already doing this.

Some considerations

Here are some considerations to help keep everyone engaged and safe in online spaces.

Activities and applications

We’ve broken up this content into three parts – simple activities you can do in live sessions to foster social interaction, activities where you facilitate social engagement through creating opportunities for interaction (although you may not take part), and activities that students may already be undertaking themselves or opt to lead completely independently.

See the submenus for details:

Case studies

The links below will take you to some cases studies of where others have created virtual social spaces for students. We would love to hear from you if you have had some success in this area and would be happy for us to share what you have done. Please get in touch via ltds@ncl.ac.uk or fill out this form.