Fostering community and collaboration online is easier said than done. Many online courses are designed for competency learning. Students progress through material and complete assignments and assessments to on a course to mastery learning. Although this model can benefit from a sense of community and student collaboration, many students are able to work independently and only tentatively interact with each other on the discussion boards.
The synchronous session, however, can help create a stronger sense of community among students by embracing a model of an online community that borrows from Harasim’s Online Collaborative Learning and Garrison et al.’s Community of Inquiry.
Here’s the third of four infographics/ job-aids to help teachers conducting synchronous sessions. Click the image for the web version.
There are many, many ideas and resources available. I recommend starting with the following sources for some specific ideas.