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Does Sense of Community Matter? An Examination of Participants' Perceptions of Building Learning Communities in Online Courses ARTICLE

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Quarterly Review of Distance Education Volume 8, Number 1, ISSN 1528-3518

Abstract

Using a case study approach, this study explored the participants' perceptions of building learning communities in online courses in an online MBA program. The findings suggested that students felt a sense of belonging to a learning community when they took online courses in this program. The study found positive relationships between sense of learning community and perceived learning engagement, course satisfaction, and learning outcomes. In addition, interview findings revealed mixed perceptions of both online instructors and students with regard to the values and strategies for building learning communities in online courses. Many instructors have a weak awareness of online community and low value of its learning impact. The existing technology may still be a barrier without the supportive structure to enhance bonding within the online community. To design online courses for a learning community, the results suggest a more systematic instructional plan needs to be adopted to integrate elements of a learning community across different levels. (Contains 2 tables.)

Citation

Liu, X., Magjuka, R.J., Bonk, C.J. & Lee, S.h. (2007). Does Sense of Community Matter? An Examination of Participants' Perceptions of Building Learning Communities in Online Courses. Quarterly Review of Distance Education, 8(1), 9-24.

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