When students are learning in a virtual classroom setting, it can be challenging to get to know one another and build relationships. That’s why it’s essential to have a few icebreakers up your sleeve! These activities will help students feel more comfortable with each other and start building the foundations for a great learning experience.
As such, it is also crucial for students to build relationships with their educators. It will help them be more engaged, motivated, and enthusiastic about learning.
In this article, we will share seven of the best virtual classroom icebreakers for students.
The Importance of Icebreakers in Virtual Classrooms
Before we get to the icebreakers themselves, let’s discuss why they are so important. When students are learning in a virtual setting, they cannot benefit from the same social cues that they would in a physical classroom. This can make it challenging to build relationships and create a sense of community.
Icebreakers help students feel free and relaxed with each other and create a great learning experience. They can also help students get to know their educators better and build relationships with them. This is important because it can help students be more engaged, motivated, and enthusiastic about learning.
Here are a few noteworthy reasons why icebreakers are so important in virtual classrooms:
- They help students feel more comfortable and reduce anxiety
- They promote active listening and collaboration
- They allow students to get to know each other and build relationships
- They foster a positive learning environment
Virtual Classroom Icebreakers
Virtual icebreakers for remote learning vary from games to questions and activities that can be done as a whole class or in small groups. They tend to be fun and engaging, and promote social and emotional learning. Here are some great ideas to get you started!
1. “Meet and Greet”
This is an excellent icebreaker for the first day of class! Ask each student to introduce themselves and say something they are looking forward to learning about in the class. This activity will help everyone know each other’s names and interests. Make sure you introduce yourself and share what you expect from them and the course first.
2. “Get-to-Know-You Scavenger Hunt”
This activity can be done in small groups or as a whole class. Give each student a list of questions they can ask to learn about you and their classmates (e.g., What’s your favorite color? What kind of food do you like?). Students will then have to go around and ask everyone the questions on the list. This is a great way to get students to interact with each other and learn new things about their classmates.
3. “I Spy”
This simple but effective icebreaker can be done with the whole class. In a physical classroom you would choose an object in the room and say, “I spy with my little eye something that is…” and give a clue about the object. Students would then have to guess what the object is. This activity is great for getting students to pay attention and use their observation skills.
In a virtual classroom you can use a virtual whiteboard to make it easier for everyone to see the object being “spied.” If you’re using LiveBoard, you can upload images to your board. Have the images of objects downloaded beforehand on your computer during the class and batch-import them to your board.
4. “Two Truths and a Lie”
This classic icebreaker can be easily adapted for a virtual setting. Ask each student to think of two facts about themselves and one lie. They then share their three statements with the rest of the class, and everyone else has to guess which one is the lie. This icebreaker is good for getting students to share personal information about themselves and promoting critical thinking.
5. “Would You Rather…”
This fun activity can be done with the whole class or in small groups. Ask students to choose between two options (e.g., would you rather have superhuman strength or the ability to fly?). This one is great for initiating discussions and getting students to share their opinions.
Tip: for a smooth and paced process, use LiveBoard’s quiz maker tool. You can make questions with single- or multiple-choice answers and set a time limit for the students to answer them. Afterwards, reveal the answers to your students and have a fun discussion.
6. “Who Am I?”
This classic icebreaker can be easily adapted for a virtual setting. Ask each student to think of a famous person, movie character, or historical figure. They will then describe their choice to the rest of the class, and everyone else has to guess who it is. This activity is excellent for helping students share information about themselves and connect.
7. “What’s Your Favorite?”
This simple but effective icebreaker can be done with the whole class. Ask each student to share their favorite color, food, animal, etc. This activity is great for getting students to connect and promoting interesting discussions about their favorite things.
Icebreakers are a great way to get students to interact with each other and feel more comfortable in a virtual classroom setting. Choose an activity you think will be most appropriate for your class and give it a try!