Watch this video to see 'Tour of Where You Are' in action...

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The purpose of 'Tour of Where You Are'

The purpose of this activity is to build community through students sharing where they are studying from, during a time when most expected to be on a campus together.

Activity description

  • Useful for
  • Preparation
  • How to do it
  • Duration
  • Adaptations
  • Technical requirements
  • Icebreaker.
  • Humanizing through storytelling.
  • Learning about the study space, and possible limitations people might have.
  • Build community and create an inclusive, open, caring classroom culture.
  • Slide with prompt on it, directions and time.
  • If using breakout rooms you can put people in randomly, or pre-plan them ahead of time.
  • If asking students to show their study space, let them know ahead of time in case they want to clean up or let other family members know.
  • If asking students to show a favorite place in their community let them know ahead of time, so they can prepare photos to share.
  • Describe the activity and why you are doing it.
  • Tell people why you find it interesting and helpful to see where they are studying, or a favorite place in their community. 
  • Explain they can share as much or little as they are comfortable
  • Pose some questions to spark what story they want to share 
    • How have you enhanced or changed your space to set it up for studying?
    • What are you missing or do you wish you had to make your space more comfortable?
    • Do you have a place in your community you like to go to study?
  • Let them know they can give a ‘walking’ tour, or show pictures. If showing a picture ask that they do so by sharing their screen (rather than trying to show on their phone for example)
  • Let them know they have 2 minutes to share. If using Zoom you can set a timer.
  • If people are going into a breakout room ask that someone be assigned as timer, note taker, and person who will share back.
  • Set up a collaborative document such as a Gdoc or Onedrive so that the small groups and write down their story. Then add in a shared space so that others can read everyone’s story at a later time.


  • If less than 10 people you can facilitate as whole group.
  • If more than 10 people, suggest putting people into groups of 3-4.
  • 3-5 minutes explaining the activity, why you are doing it, and putting people into groups if needed.
  • 2 minutes per person to share story.
  • If people shared in small groups 1-2 minutes for each group to share something back that they learned.
  • 5 minutes to wrap-up and highlight importance of what they learned, how connects to the community and ways they will be working together.

Alternative tools could be an asynchronous discussion tool such as Voicethread, Flipgrid, Yellowdig or LMS discussion.

An adaptation could be doing asynchronously.

If a large group suggest using breakout rooms.

Gdocs or other collaborative tools can be used as a way for small groups to share their stories in their small group, and then they can be shared so the whole class can see them.

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How do I use these resources?

We have created a welcome video and some introductory text that explains in detail how to use these resources. You can also find answers to some key questions below. 

Yes you can. We have included descriptive text and slides that you can reuse / adapt for this reason. We have suggested some variations for activities to help you make adaptations.

We show how much time an activity should take and what resources you need to help you make a decision.

As we include more resources over time you will have a greater choice of activities and more information about the different contexts within which they work best. 

Any technique can block some people out, make them feel unwelcomed, or be used in a way that privileges some and makes it harder on others.

All of these techniques should be used in conjunction with pedagogies of care and what we call Intentionally Equitable Hospitality

If you try an adaptation of this activity, or try it as is and have interesting results to share, please contribute your adaptation/reflection in the comments or get in touch through social media / email.

Coming soon: there will be room to discuss these activities in private discussion forums in OneHE’s.

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