Essentials to Build a Community for Online Teaching – Complete Guide, Tips, More

Online teaching is quite different from conventional teaching due to the lack of physical interaction. It can create a gap between the teachers and the learners.

However, we have compiled a list of tips and tricks to help you create an interactive community.

By the end of this article, we will cover the following things:

  • Tips to build a community
  • Importance of an interactive community

So, let’s get started.

Essentials for Community Building

A community is a mixture of different types of people. It includes learners, teachers, instructors, and students. 

You must figure out what sort of people dominate your community. This will help you with the type of content you make for your customers.

Types of Communities

There are multiple types of communities that have their own features and behavior. If you learn this pattern, it can help you set the tone of your online teaching sessions.

The two main types of communities are:

  • Interest-based communities.
  • Profession-based communities.

Interest-Based Communities

Interest-based communities consist of people that have mutual interests/passions among individuals. It can be a hobby or something they want to pursue professionally.

You can orient your teaching session in a way that touches their mutual interest. For example, your community has a majority of people interested in writing codes.

What can you do to engage them? 

You can organize multiple activities related to coding or you can entertain your community with facts related to coding.

The point is, that you have to engage them with their mutual circle in one way or another.

Profession-Based Communities 

Profession-based communities are made because of the mutual profession of different people. It can be anything as long as it is a professional job.

For example, it can consist of professional painters who have gathered to learn and share their craft in the field.

It is quite different to engage a community of professionals. 

You have to devise a plan that includes actionable information about their specific field. 

Let’s say, you have a community of teachers. In order to help them, you have to present them with ways to interact with students and how to engage them in discussions.

Elements of Online Teaching

There are three main elements when it comes to Online Teaching. 

  • Teaching Element
  • Social Element
  • Cognitive Element

All of these aspects have their own impact on your community. Let’s see what sort of impact these elements have on your community.

Teaching Element

This element includes the general things related to teaching such as course planning, engaging in discussions, and guiding your audience.

Course planning can help you to organize your material beforehand. Besides that, it can also assist you to understand your audience in a better way.

Are discussions important?

Discussions are an important part of learning. You, as an instructor, must facilitate a constructive discussion among the audience.

Last but not the least, it is necessary that you provide sufficient guidance for individuals because everyone has their own learning pace.

This will help you to create a positive image among your community members.

Social Element

It is one thing to engage with your audience as a teacher but a completely different thing to make your audience engage with each other.

It is your duty as a teacher to engage your audience in a peaceful and positive discussion over and over again.

How will it affect my community?

This will help your community members learn about other individuals and create a strong community. 

Furthermore, it will help them connect on a rather personal level and ensure that each of your community members participates in one way or another.

Cognitive Element

The cognitive element represents the aftermath of a discussion among your audience. It shows how effectively your community can work together and solve a problem.

For example, you present your audience with a question. You have to direct the individuals towards a solution with small hints. 

Over time, your community members will be able to handle problems on their own and develop a pattern to effectively work with each other.

Activities for your Community

Another essential part of community building is the activities to engage your audience. There are many ways to create an interactive atmosphere among your community members.

Discussion Topics

As an instructor, it is quite important to have quick discussion starters at the ready. They can be extensive or concise, it depends on the amount of time you have.

You can use these topics to socially interact with your members. 

The topics for starting a discussion can be relevant or non-relevant to your course material.

What discussion topics can I use?

You can ask your audience about their favorite food during the lockdown or you can ask if they had a pet to accompany them during the pandemic.

These types of questions present you as a friendly and trustworthy person to the community.

Personal Experience

Community members often like it when their teacher/instructor shares personal experience/advice about the topic at hand.

It makes them feel more connected to the reality of the course objective.

For example, you are teaching a group of individuals about writing a code. You can tell them how you got into it or what was the worst/best code you’ve ever written?

These types of things not only engage the audience but also make them more eager to learn.

Interactive assignments

Assignments are quite important to build and engage a community. There are different types of assignments as well. 

Some of them are individual-oriented while others are more focused on group tasks.

You have to determine what sort of assignments suit your members. You can do this by running a quick survey about what kind of method they would like.

You may ask yourself if you should build a community for your online course, you can find the answer to it HERE.

Interested in finding out how to get into online course business easily, take a look at the complete guide on our website.


Important Tips to Build Community Interaction

Following are some of the tips to further build a better community:

  • Always be mindful while listening to the questions from your audience.
  • Make an interactive plan to keep your objectives and the members’ focus in check.
  • Always include short assignments in your sessions.
  • Create a smooth flow of teaching to cater to every individual. 
  • Create a blog/forum for queries made by the community members. 


Building a strong community can go a long way to benefit your brand’s image. It also develops a sense of trust among the community members.

From a business perspective, it also encourages new people to join and become a part of it.

We hope this article helps you to create a strong and interactive community for your online teaching.

Do let us know what you think are the essentials for community building.

If you are interested in finding out how to manage your online courses easily, take a look at Online Course Management on our website