Reflections on the Notion of Community in Online Learning
Priscilla Norton, Dawn Hathaway, George Mason University, United States
Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference, in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA ISBN 978-1-880094-64-8 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Chesapeake, VA
Abstract: Community in online environments is often mentioned as a necessary condition for learning. To promote community, the authors offered a course forum, "Harp and Dwell," where teacher-learners could build community if they chose. Using an action research approach, the authors analyzed the "Harp and Dwell" in two ways: quantitatively to summarize each group's use of the forum and qualitatively to identify themes, similarities, and differences in each group's use of the "Harp and Dwell." Differences in the number of threads and follow up posts in the "Harp and Dwell" distinguished those groups who identified themselves as a virtual community from those that were mixed and working groups as well as a number of qualitative differences. The authors conclude the best approach may be to provide opportunities for community building without mandating it.
Norton, P. & Hathaway, D. (2008). Reflections on the Notion of Community in Online Learning. In K. McFerrin, R. Weber, R. Carlsen & D. Willis (Eds.), Proceedings of SITE 2008--Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference (pp. 3097-3104). Las Vegas, Nevada, USA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).