June 23rd, 2015
When I was an undergraduate, in those heady days of invite-only Gmail accounts and “Heather is…” Facebook statuses, there were only two ways to communicate with classmates: seeing them in class or stalking them after. If you wanted to hold a study group, were confused by the reading, or wanted to work on a group project, then you had to plan to meet in advance.
At the time collegial community could only be built through face-to-face contact—students physically occupying the same space with the same goals and the same schedule. This model works great within a certain set of parameters: at a university with an in-residence student body, small student-to-teacher ratios, and in courses with high attendance and daily discussion requirements.