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In this 2019 blogpost by Celeste McLaughlin at the University of Edinburgh, the importance of developing academic communities to support online learning is discussed. It emphasises that you need to consider this within the design stage of a course and recommends Gilly Salmon’s 5 stage model of e-tivities to build confidence and collaboration activities during the course. Some useful strategies are outlined e.g. of using ice breakers to build familiarity with digital tools, establishing and posting group work guidelines developed by the students and the importance of staff remaining visible to students.