Community building activities

Equity Unbound has teamed up with OneHE to develop some open educational resources for online community-building

Why is building a sense of community important?

Watch the welcome video below to find out why Equity Unbound are creating and curating free community building activities for educators.

Play Video

How to use these resources

Each of these resources includes a video either demonstrating or describing the activity or exercise for community-building. We also include descriptive text, slides you can reuse/adapt where relevant, and links to additional resources. We also show you how much time, what kind of resources you need, and different variations on the activity to help you adapt it for your purposes.

Important: 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

As you watch/read any of these, please let us know:

  1. If you find that the activity is not hospitable to a certain group.
  2. If you try an adaptation of this activity, or try it as is and have interesting results to share, please contribute your adaptation/reflection.
  3. If you have an activity or resource that you want to contribute.

Coming soon

We will be frequently adding more activities and resources – sign up to the mailing list or follow Equity Unbound / OneHE on Twitter for updates. We are also creating an online community space to make it easier for you to share ideas, experiences and questions.

Biographies of curators of activities

Activities list and descriptions

Appreciative Interviews

To invite students to use their bodies to represent, collaboratively, an image of something that is worth discussing.

Critical Uncertainties

Engage everyone in making sense of profound challenges. Use to address difficult or confusing topics.


Engage everyone in making sense of profound challenges. Use to address difficult or confusing topics.

Room 101

Sharpen logical reasoning and debating skills. Create discussion.

Conversation cafe

Engage everyone in making sense of profound challenges. Use to address difficult or confusing topics.


TRIZ can “Stop Counterproductive Activities and Behaviors to Make Space for Innovation”. Try it out!

Studio Visits

Bring in external speakers into your classroom via a virtual “studio visit”, an informal discussion with one or two external guests.

Structured Dialogues

This pair or trio activity is ideal for reflection and also to practice focused listening.

Purpose to Practice

Use the Purpose to Practice structure with students to co-develop “community guidelines” for the class.

Human Scavenger Hunt

Create positive engagement and ensure centrality of student voices from the first day of class.

Daily Creates

Provides a space for regular practice of spontaneous creativity through “mini” challenges published every day.

Tour of Where You Are

The purpose here is to build community through students sharing where they are studying from.

Annotate the Syllabus

Annotating the syllabus helps learners to read, make sense of, question, and discuss their learning.

While We Wait

Make use of the 5-10 minutes before class time or if you give a break in the middle of class.

Mad Tea

This activity promotes small group intimacy and collaboration, making a large group session feel interactive.

Spiral Journal

Promote focus and reflection while allowing individuals to compose responses thoughtfully and calmly in writing.

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