Activity 2: The Electronic Learning Community

Analyze the electronic learning community. Describe the differences between the face-to-face classroom community and the online community. How is the online learning process different? Assess the instructor’s role in facilitating the development of the online community in a course offered totally online. Give examples and use at least three to five outside references and resources in your response. Be sure to include citations for quotations and paraphrases with references in APA format and style.

What is the Electronic Learning Community?

Learning which takes place by any form of electronic means and is composed of the learners, instructor, and activities within the learning environment - view the graphic located below for links to definitions and supporting concepts.

Online learning refers to learning opportunities which take place by accessing learning activities and interacting with the instructor and other learners via the internet from anywhere at any time. Explore electronic learning communities and theories discussed by the following authors in academic journals:

Andone, D., Dron, J., & Pemberton, L. (2009). Developing a desirable learning environment for digital students. Technology, Instruction, Cognition & Learning, 6(4), 253-271.

Ryman, S., Burrell, L., & Richardson, B. (2009). Creating and sustaining online learning communities: Designing environments for transformative learning. International Journal of Pedagogies & Learning, 5(3), 46-58.

Betz, M. (2006, February). Solo and social learning in online courses: Implications for informatin processing theory. International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning 3(2). Retrieved from http://www.itdl.org/journal/feb_06/article03.htm

I have submitted coursework in my studies at Northcentral University which include brief discussions and other assignments which I will include throughout this site intended to provide additional information related to e-learning and online communities as well as incorporating additional resources to explore key concepts.


The concept map is in development and additional information and references will be added as the wiki is developed and completed for ELT 7008 at NCU.

Background Information
NACADA Clearhinghouse Academic Advising Resources a resource provided by the National Aacademic Advising Association (NACADA)
Digital Divide Discussion
Benefits to e-Learning Discussion

How Does Online Learning Differ from the Traditional Classroom?
  • Access to learning opportunity for anyone located any where in the world with internet access - more freedom (Ko & Rosen, 2010)
  • Key is the interactions among students, between faculty and students, and the collaboration in learning that results from the interactions (Palloff & Pratt, 2007)
  • Communications take place synchronously and asynchronously (Hrastinski, 2008)
  • Learners must be self-motivated to learn
  • Generally learning sessions lack visual interactions with peers (Broadbent, 2002)
  • Course development takes more time (Maeroff, 2003)
  • Requires technical skills consistent for 21st century learning (Hrastinski, 2008)
  • Understand the challenges associated with online learning - Initial Challenges Discussion (Rosenberg, 2000)
  • Example: Traditional Classroom Activity from Online Activity


What is the Instructor's Role to Facilitate the Development of the Online Community?

Instructor Tips for Transitioning to Online

Faculty, facilitators, and coaches looking to transition from the traditional classroom to the online learning environment must consider the best approach for course delivery and how to design course content to meet the expectations of the learner. “Even after all these years, the most exciting online pedagogical experiences still rely on human interaction” (Palloff & Pratt, 2001, p. 10). The challenge is to find a balance between pedagogy using the latest technology and the right amount of learner engagement based on the course content and identified learning outcomes. I offer several insights for consideration as you embark on your journey of creating an online course which are backed by my own experience and the experiences of published educators.
  • Ask yourself if online teaching is really for you: “It is wrong-minded to assume those that have taught in the traditional classrooms will automatically be able to do the same in the virtual classroom” (Maeroff, 2003, p. 94).
  • Keep it simple and grow over time: “In our experience, a well-constructed course is one that is logical in its design, easy to navigate, and inviting to the user” (Palloff & Pratt, 2001, p. 10).
  • Allow more time than you might expect: “Good online learning requires considerable preparation” (Maeroff, 2003, p. 38).
  • Identify learning outcomes before designing the course: “Begin with the end in mind by developing learning objectives first” (Palloff & Pratt, 2001, p. 92).
  • Ask yourself how much technology is actually needed to meet the learning outcomes and engage students: “Determine the best fit between the course and the degree to which technology and online delivery will be used” (Palloff & Pratt, 2001, p. 92).
  • Get the training you need and understand the skills of the learner: “Faculty need training and assistance in making the transition to the online environment, but students also need to be taught how to learn online” (Palloff & Pratt, 2001, p. xv).
  • Focus on the learning experience: “Give as much control of the learning process as possible to the learners themselves. Be creative in developing means by which content can be delivered without the use of lectures” (Palloff & Pratt, 2001, p. 92).

Whether in a traditional classroom or the e-classroom “educational research tells us that student achievement increases when learning activities are engaging and student-centered” (“SouthEast,” 2003, p. 207). Ultimately, the goal of teaching is for students to learn and for students to achieve their goal of passing the course and eventually earning a credential or degree.
References:

Andone, D., Dron, J., & Pemberton, L. (2009). Developing a desirable learning environment for digital students. Technology, Instruction, Cognition & Learning, 6(4), 253-271.

Betz, M. (2006, February). Solo and social learning in online courses: Implications for informatin processing theory. International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, 3(2). Retrieved from http://www.itdl.org/journal/feb_06/article03.htm

Broadbent, B. (2002). ABCs of e-learning: Reaping the benefits and avoiding the pitfgalls. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer.

Hrastinski, S. (2008, October - December). Asynchronous and synchronous e-learning: A study of asynchronous and synchronous e-learning methods discovered that each supports different purposes. Educause Quarterly, 31(4). Retrieved from http://www.educause.edu/EDUCAUSE+Quarterly/EDUCAUSEQuarterlyMagazineVolum/AsynchronousandSynchronousELea/163445

Ko, S., & Rosen, S. (2010). Teaching online: A practicial guide. New York, NY: Routledge.

Lehman, R., & Conceicao, S. (2010). Creating a sense of presense in online teaching: How to 'be there' for distance learners. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Maeroff, G. (2003). A classroom of one. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.

Palloff, R, & Pratt, K. (2000). Making the Transition: Helping Teachers to Teach Online. Retrieved from http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/EDU0006.pdf

Palloff, R., & Pratt, K. (2001). Lessons from the cyberspace classroom: The realities of online teaching. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Palloff, R., & Pratt, K. (2007). Building online learning communities: Effective strategies for the virtual classroom. San Francisco: CA, Jossey-Bass.

Rosenberg, M. (2000). E-learning: Strategies for delivering knowledge in the digital age. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Ryman, S., Burrell, L., & Richardson, B. (2009). Creating and sustaining online learning communities: Designing environments for transformative learning. International Journal of Pedagogies & Learning, 5(3), 46-58.

Scollins-Mantha, B. (2008). Cultivating social presense in the online cearning classroom: A literature review with recommendations for practice. International Journal of lInstructionaTechnology and Distance Education 5(3), 23-38. Retrieved from http://scholar.googleusercontent.com/scholar?q=cache:uoVpSX9ElYgJ:scholar.google.com/+assessing+collaborative+online+activities&hl=en&as_sdt=0,38

SouthEastInitiatives Regional Technology in Education Consortium, (SIRTEC). (2003). Planning into practice. Retrieved from http://www.dgsd.k12.ak.us/education/page/download.php?fileinfo=MUludHJvLnBkZjo6Oi93d3cvc2Nob29scy9zYy9yZW1vdGUvaW1hZ2VzL2RvY21nci80OGZpbGUxNzcucGRm

Steele, G. (2005). Distance advising. Retrieved from the NACADA Clearinghouse of Academic Advising Resources Web site: http://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Clearinghouse/AdvisingIssues/adv_distance.htm

Concept Map References:

Engsminger, D. & Sury, D. (2002). Faculty Perceptions of Factors That Facilitate the Implementation of Online Programs. Retrieved from http://frank.mtsu.edu/~itconf/proceed02/4.html

Personal References:

Discussion postings and assignments from coursework at Northcentral University (NCU) were produced by Robin Bunnell from March of 2010 to July of 2011 and contain additional source materials as noted on each page or in the attached document.