In this phenomenological study, we explore how multiple assessments contribute to creating a sense of community (SOC) in an undergraduate abstract algebra course. Strike (2004) describes community as a process rather than a feeling and outlines four characteristics of community: coherence, cohesion, care, and contact. In this report, we describe contributing factors to and perceived benefits of SOC that students provided in an open-ended interview. Our findings indicate students viewed the teacher and the classroom environment as the primary sources for creating a SOC. Our findings also suggest students believed the SOC of the classroom increased classroom interaction and opened the doors of communication between students and with the instructor. The contributing factors align with Strike’s and McMillan and Chavis’(1986) definitions of community, support social cognitive theory, and serve as a model for building a SOC in the classroom.
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