Belonging Online: Students' Perceptions of the Value and Efficacy of an Online Learning Community
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LaPointe, L. & Reisetter, M. (2008). Belonging Online: Students' Perceptions of the Value and Efficacy of an Online Learning Community. International Journal on E-Learning, 7(4), 641-665. Chesapeake, VA: AACE.
Retrieved from http://www.editlib.org/p/24419.
International Journal on E-Learning
Volume 7, Issue 4, October 2008
Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE) Chesapeake, VA
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The proliferation of online course designs has changed the learning environments for many students and professors. Recommendations for best practice in online course design frequently include maximizing students' online peer connections, with the intention of building a viable, if virtual, online learning community. However, students' responses to and value for these virtual communities have been mixed. Graduate students taking online courses through a state university system were surveyed to determine their value for, and commitment to, this online learning community. Results, both quantitative and narrative, indicated that although some students found the virtual community helpful to their learning, others perceived the online peer connections as superfluous and inconvenient, and not supportive of their online learning processes. We suggest that the new reality created by online learning demands a reassessment of our understanding of the most productive student engagement.
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