According to Dr. Palloff and Dr. Pratt an online learning community is “a community of students and faculty who explore content together to construct meaning and knowledge about that content” (Laureate Education, Inc. (n.d.) ). Further learning both learning and student satisfaction are greatly improved in well developed online learning communities because the community is engaged in the common goal … “a sense of co-created knowledge and meaning.”
What are the essential elements of online community building?
There are five interdependent elements related to online community building. Specifically, people that make up the community, the purpose for the community, process or way communication is delivered in the community, method and social presence. Social presence refers to creating a recognizable online persona (i.e., a reflection of who we are).
How can online learning communities be sustained?
Online learning communities can be ongoing and successful only if all parties involved take responsibility for active participation. The instructor fulfills the role of facilitator and mentor, provides a safe environment for the students, and the students take responsibility for interacting within the community, participating regularly and becoming “scholar practitioners.”
What is the relationship between community building and effective online instruction?
There are several benefits from participation in a successful learning community model such as increased student satisfaction, increased perception of learning, an innate sense of belonging or feeling as if they are a part of something larger than themselves and social pressure to succeed. On the other hand, if the online learning environment is not appropriately developed and/or the instructor/facilitator does not create a welcoming environment, the students may quickly succumb to feelings of isolation and loneliness and possibly drop the course before giving the class or themselves a chance to acclimate accordingly.
Laureate Education, Inc. (n.d.) [Video]. “Online learning communities.” Retrieved from http://sylvan.com.