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Building An Online Learning Community by Kevin Wilcoxon

Building An Online Learning Community by Kevin Wilcoxon
“One thing is certain, learning communities are more engaging and members more engaged than is the case with traditional instruction.” How can an instructional designer (ID) leverage social interaction online to engage learners, increase exchange and dialogue, and get better results, without losing the purposeful focus provided by an instructor or traditional course content and structure? Many IDs are intrigued by the potential of communal experiences online, but there is a great deal of uncertainty about how to proceed. Online Statistics course Michelle Everson teaches a Statistics course online. Each group is required to work on eight small-group assignments during the course or series. Online Operations Management course Joel Mencena teaches Operations Management online. Joel creates discussion boards for each case example, asking students to critique the decisions in the case or post their own decisions. Learning communities Figure 1. Are they all equally important? Figure 2. Group size Related:  Teaching Students in Online Classrooms

Student Motivation and Engagement by Selby Cull, Washington University in St. Louis Don Reed, Dept. of Geology, San Jose State UniversityKarin Kirk, Science Education Resource Center authored as part of the 2010 workshop, Teaching Geoscience Online - A Workshop for Digital Faculty Jump down to: The Nature of Online Learners | Pedagogic Design | Instructor Behavior | References and Resources The challenge of keeping our students engaged and motivated is common across grade levels, subject matter, and all types of institutions and courses. Online courses, however, present a special concern. With students and faculty in contact only via the internet several new challenges arise. On the other hand, there are several advantages to the online environment that make it easier to engage students. The self-paced nature of online courses allows students to fit the work time into their schedule. Background: The Nature of Online Learners Pedagogic Design for Engagement Instructor Behavior to Promote Engagement Helpful Web Resources

'Online Learning: Developing an Online Learning Community' - Anchorage K-12 A recent article in Educational Technology Research & Development stated, "The rate of online learning has increased expeditiously in the last ten years and at least 60% of students have taken at least one online course." However, despite the increase methods of delivery the quality of the delivery has remained in question. Many have suggested that online learning has truly enhanced the learning environment and lecture halls have also benefited from some form of online learning as part of its program. Although data has shown improvement in student learning using online means of communication, many still feel that the output of these types of environments are inferior to a face-to-face lecture. Students and Learning Student’s ability to interact is based on his or her learning communities and the active learning process, which then leads to personalization, self-actualization, higher self-regard and an opportunity to connect with other people. Recommendations 1. Web-based Instruction

Kids Speak Out on Student Engagement A while back, I was asked, "What engages students?" Sure, I could respond, sharing anecdotes about what I believed to be engaging, but I thought it would be so much better to lob that question to my own eighth graders. The responses I received from all 220 of them seemed to fall under 10 categories, representing reoccuring themes that appeared again and again. So, from the mouths of babes, here are my students' answers to the question: "What engages students?" 1. Working with their peers "Middle-school students are growing learners who require and want interaction with other people to fully attain their potential." "Teens find it most interesting and exciting when there is a little bit of talking involved. 2. "I believe that when students participate in "learning by doing" it helps them focus more. "We have entered a digital age of video, Facebook, Twitter, etc., and they [have] become more of a daily thing for teens and students. 3. "I believe that it all boils down to relationships. 4.

AJET 19(2) Brook and Oliver (2003) - online learning communities - a design framework Chris Brook and Ron OliverEdith Cowan University This paper reports the development of a design framework intended to support and guide online instructors in the development of a learning community. The study was guided by an investigation of contemporary literature focused on the community construct, online learning community development and the collaborative construction of knowledge and the practices of experienced professionals working in the field. The intended outcome is a design framework that may be useful in guiding instructors in the development of said communities. Introduction It has been suggested that the social phenomenon of community may be put to good use in the support of online learning (Bonk & Wisher, 2000; Hiltz, 1998; Palloff & Pratt, 1999; Rovai, 2002). This paper describes an investigation of the development of online learning communities. Understanding community Notwithstanding the continued debate, several features of community have general acceptance. Presage

The Simple Science of Creating Engaging eLearning Courses As eLearning professionals, we are constantly trying to figure out different ways to engage learners and challenge their understanding. We create attractive images, include games, quizzes, and develop different types of interactive activities in the hopes that most learners become interested in the material, but our job doesn’t stop there. Engaging learners goes beyond presenting interactive content; it is about designing truly motivating learning experiences. Engagement requires an emotional connection between the content and the learner. And the only way we can do that is by knowing what drives people to spend time, effort, and energy learning your content? Anthropologist Dr. 1) Experience + Expectation = Engagement Findings show learning proceeds primarily from prior knowledge. Clearly define the course objectives (this is like setting a map before learners so they know where they intend to land). Engagement is shaped by previous experience and their expectation from that. Who cares?

What Is An Online Community? What is an online community? For such a simple question one may assume there would also be a simple answer associated with it; however, as communication technology changes so do the words that define it. This is the second article in a three part series about online community management. The final article in the series will highlight what motivates an online community, but before that happens I need a sufficient amount of data that I will also be using for my communications thesis. Please take a moment to take or share this survey, and I will report back with the data. This image was adapted from images taken by Flickr users katerha and TheBigTouffe In a previous article I helped define what an online community manager is, and in doing so many other questions were raised about the different types of online community managers. Are communities closed or open? Internal vs External Who is the community? This model is not to scale, clearly. All Together Now Questions?

Interactive Video Learning What Exactly is an Online Community Manager? You’ve been to communities, you may have even created them, but what roles are evolving within them? Online community management by no means is a standard job, so I decided to seek out what other online community managers are currently doing. Like the start of all things we are curious about now, I began this fact finding mission by doing a basic Google search to see what exactly an online community manager looks like. A Dictator? According to the top ranking images on Google several alarming images are presented that shows a community manager on a pedestal above members, leading a pack, or holding a magnifying glass (can’t find his users?). There was also this random image displaying what appears to be a community manager hugging an 8-bit version of himself too, but that is an entirely different article. The community manager as a dictator via Google Images Or a Role Model? The community manager as a role model via Google Images Community Manager Job Opportunity Comparisons - brainstorm and mind map online. Chapter 11-Teaching in an online context Figure 11-1. Community of inquiry. In a work on teaching presence, Anderson, Rourke, Archer, and Garrison (2001) delineated three critical roles that a teacher performs in the process of creating an effective teaching presence. The first of these roles is the design and organization of the learning experience that takes place both before the establishment of the learning community and during its operation. Second, teaching involves devising and implementing activities to encourage discourse between and among students, between the teacher and the student, and between individual students and groups of students and content resources (Anderson, 2002). In addition to these tasks, in formal education, the institution and its teacher employees are usually fulfilling a critical credentialing role that involves the assessment and certification of student learning. top Activities in this category of teaching presence include building curriculum materials. Getting the Mix Right Assessment Frameworks