Building relationship with and between your students and creating community online requires intention and effort. It is rarely something that simply emerges but rather must be created and nurtured by you, and your students too. As the instructor you have an important role to play in initiating and guiding the students introductions to you, and you to them, and them to one another.
A useful tool to help you gain insight and acquire information about your students is to give them a brief (or if you prefer, not so brief) series of questions to answer. You can choose to have the questions be more practical (ie. What is your student status, do you have reliable internet) or more personal (ie. Are you currently working, responsible for caring for children or others, what they like to do in their spare time), or a combination. Consider the context when you are creating your questionnaire. You may also want to consider which questions you want to require students to answer and which may be optional.
In Moodle add a resource or activity and select the feedback tool. Enter the questions you would like to use and set the maximum grade to “0” to prevent it being added to your gradebook.
Check out some example questions to ask your students in the PDF below. Also, attached are questions your students can ask each other to build relationship between one another.