Reflections on engagement in online learning communities

Ryle, Anita and Cumming, Kaye (2007) Reflections on engagement in online learning communities. International Journal of Pedagogies and Learning, 3 (3). pp. 35-46.

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Engagement with course content, facilitators and peers is necessary for students fully to achieve their learning potential. This paper demonstrates how peer-to-peer online interaction enables deeper learning through discourse and helps with retention issues by increasing motivation and reducing feelings of isolation.
The authors were motivated to write this paper following their personal experiences in an online postgraduate course as members of a successful learning community. Their
reflections on the facilitation methods and levels of student participation during the semester are supported by quotations from chat logs and discussion postings made by
fellow students in the course, thereby enabling the inclusion of a wider student voice.
To give more breadth, the authors also reflect on another two shared online learning experiences which resulted with varying success in building the community of learners. These comparisons provide a distinctive perspective because the authors reflect upon their experiences as students rather than as teachers.
This research informs a future action research project to improve facilitation strategies used in a large undergraduate course and highlights strategies for facilitators to consider in the formation of online learning communities. Topics include facilitator presence, online activities, the use of regular announcements, asynchronous and synchronous methods of engagement, the tone of discussions and group dynamics.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © Copyright of articles is retained by authors. As this is an open access journal, articles are free to use, with proper attribution, in educational and other non-commercial settings. Paper originally presented at the 3rd International Conference on Pedagogies and Learning, 27-28th Sept, 2007.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Business - School of Information Systems (1 Apr 2007 - 31 Dec 2010)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Business - School of Information Systems (1 Apr 2007 - 31 Dec 2010)
Date Deposited: 09 Jan 2008 04:45
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 22:56
Uncontrolled Keywords: engagement; course content; facilitators; peers; learning potential; online interaction; learning communities
Fields of Research (2008): 08 Information and Computing Sciences > 0806 Information Systems > 080602 Computer-Human Interaction
13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130306 Educational Technology and Computing
13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130309 Learning Sciences
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9301 Learner and Learning > 930102 Learner and Learning Processes

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