How Do You Build Online Communication Skills in Your Students?

Watching the recent Mural webinar with Jim Kalbach and Chris Herd where he "Says HQs Are Finished" ( really got me thinking about the need to strengthen students' ability to succeed in an increasingly remote work environment.

I realized I should move beyond my initial goal - getting mine to be able to use the templates I prepare for them - to the objective of getting them to master the art of creating their own.

Another Mural webinar (they are SO enlightening), the one about education going "Suddenly Remote" with Ward Bullard and Glenn Fajardo (, was extremely helpful in opening my eyes to Self Determination Theory, which I translate as the educators' need, if we really want our students to be fully engaged so that they actually learn something, to give them what every young person wants: their own CAR.

That is, in everything we ask them to do, we need to:

a) make clear how diving in will help them develop a specific COMPETENCE they want;

b) give them some AUTONOMY in how they do it, and

c) show how said task has both a RELATEDNESS to their lives AND design it in such a way that it helps them build RELATEDNESS with each other. This second point is especially key given that opportunities for social contact between students have been and still are so limited.

That has informed every Mural design I have created so far.

Now I'd really like to see them go all the way up Bloom's Taxonomy of Learning and create their own. Here is my first attempt at encouraging them:

If anyone has any ideas they'd like to share on how to build mastery-level competency in online collaboration, I'd love to know.


  • Ward
    Ward Mural Team mod

    @Christina - first of all, thank you for the shout out...though most of the credit for that webinar belongs to my friend @GlennFajardo who has been ahead of this curve for many years.

    I entirely agree with you around the "employability advantage" of students who have learned to work in hybrid / remote environments. This is part of the inspiration for our first wave of MURAL Imagination Student Ambassadors (link below). How might we provide students - who are digital natives to begin with - the exposure to next-generation collaboration products and frameworks so they can jump in as "Day 1 ready" for the jobs of today (and the promotions of tomorrow)?

    I love your MURAL. Very encouraging to your students (at least from my POV). @Jeff_Eyet - have you seen anything like this at Berkeley by chance?

    Student Ambassador Job Posting (US only to start):