Creating community during the COVID-19 pandemic: honors makes a case online

Marca Wolfensberger, Marte Vroom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The coronavirus created a new reality: a digital revolution has transformed education at universities around the world within a couple of weeks. In most European countries, the governments obliged universities to cancel face-to-face education because of the high health risks involved. This shift was needed because of the risk of infection with COVID-19. Arguments that were given to cancel face-to-face education were the age of the students, the international body of students and a large amount of traffic involved. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, most honors educators would agree that honors education thrives on face-to-face encounters. Creating a committed community is one of the main pillars of honors teaching (Wolfensberger, 2012). In this article, we describe how the honors program of the Human Geography and Spatial Planning department of Utrecht University, a research university in the Netherlands, has adapted to the current pandemic to meet the needs of the honors students. The aim of this article is to explain how the digitalization of education, due to the coronavirus, has led to an adapted honors course with a focus on wellbeing and creating community.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1
Pages (from-to)1-8
JournalJournal of the European Honors Council
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jun 2020


  • honours programmes
  • online education
  • community building
  • pandemics


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