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This chapter reviews research linking the importance of community in an increasing engagement in online courses from an interdisciplinary perspective. Additionally, we identify applicable teaching strategies that focus on the important elements of community building, namely teaching, social, and cognitive presence.
This article is a sequel to the conversation on learning initiated by the editors of Educational Researcher in volume 25, number 4. The author’s first aim is to elicit the metaphors for learning that guide our work as learners, teachers, and researchers. Two such metaphors are identified: the acquisition metaphor and the participation metaphor. Subsequently, their entailments are discussed and evaluated. Although some of the implications are deemed desirable and others are regarded as harmful, the article neither speaks against a particular metaphor nor tries to make a case for the other. Rather, these interpretations and applications of the metaphors undergo critical evaluation. In the end, the question of theoretical unification of the research on learning is addressed, wherein the purpose is to show how too great a devotion to one particular metaphor can lead to theoretical distortions and to undesirable practices.
This chapter presents a theoretical model of online learning, the Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework, which is grounded in John Dewey's progressive understanding of education. The CoI framework is a process model of online learning which views the online educational experience as arising from the interaction of three presences - social presence, cognitive presence, and teaching presence. Each of these three elements in the CoI framework are described and related to Dewey's work, and research findings and issues concerning them reviewed. The development of a common CoI survey measure that promises to address some of these issues is described and discussed. The chapter concludes with emerging findings from new studies which use the CoI survey, directions for future research, and practical uses of the CoI framework.
“Social presence,” the degree to which participants in computer-mediated communication feel affectively connected one to another, has been shown to be an important factor in student satisfaction and success in online courses. This mixed methods study built on previous research to explore in greater depth the nature of social presence and how it develops in online course discussions. The study combined quantitative analyses of survey results from students enrolled in four online graduate courses, and qualitative comparisons of students with the highest and lowest perceptions of social presence. Quantitative results revealed significant correlations between perceived social presence and satisfaction with online discussions, and teased apart the respective influences of the perceived presence of instructors and peers. The findings indicate that the perceived presence of instructors may be a more influential factor in determining student satisfaction than the perceived presence of peers. Correlations with other course and learner characteristics suggest that course design may also significantly affect the development of social presence. Qualitative findings support the quantitative results. In addition, they provide evidence that students perceiving the highest social presence also projected themselves more into online discussions,and reveal meaningful differences in perceptions of the usefulness and purpose of online discussion between students perceiving high and low social presence.
The rise in popularity of distance education programmes, taught through web-based media, belies the difficulty in preparing, delivering and studying on such programmes. Preparing and providing quality material and a rich learning experience are key challenges. The physical and temporal separation of tutor and student, and between students themselves, can lead to feelings of isolation. The lack of interaction and discussion between students on non-cohort based courses lessens the richness of the learning experience and omits a significant element of the constructivist approach to learning. In order to provide maximum flexibility for students to study at a time, pace and in a subject issue of their choosing, the University of the West of England’s (UWE) MA Spatial Planning programme is delivered entirely online at a distance and asynchronously. This research investigates this pedagogic problem through examining the experiences of distance learning students at UWE, exploring issues and barriers to collaborative study, and exploring student isolation. Recommendations are generated for building a learning community on a non-cohort asynchronous programme of study. These include: providing service level agreements to clarify expectations; designating ‘staging points’ to encourage and motivate; developing student generated content as footprints ‘buried’ in the material; humanising the material; and introducing mechanisms to provide students with their peers’ thoughts/views on course material.
Purpose – The purpose of this paper was to identify pertinent studies on the important issue of
student engagement strategies in online courses and to establish from empirical studies student
engagement strategies that work.
Design/methodology/approach – The paper adopted the literature review approach. The authors
conducted a thorough and systematic search of the literature to find empirical studies focusing on online
engagement strategies within the field of education and distance learning. To generate as many
relevant publications as possible, both manual and electronic searches were conducted. The databases
used included; Academic Search Complete (Ebsco), Social Sciences Full Text (Wilson), ProQuest
Education Journals, ProQuest Dissertation and Thesis, ProQuest Central, Social Sciences Citation Index
(SSCIISI), ERIC, (Ebsco), SAGE Full-Text Collection (CSA), Google Scholar and Emerald.
Findings – The results of this paper revealed the several factors that can create engaging learning
experiences for the online learners. The primary factors are as follows: creating and maintaining
positive learning environment; building learning community; giving consistent feedback in timely
manner; and using the right technology to deliver the right content.
Research limitations/implications – The paper is limited, as it is based on a review of literature.
Empirical studies need to be conducted to support the ideas generated in this paper. For example, it is
proposed that individual and institutional characteristics play an important role in promoting learner
satisfaction in online courses. Additional studies that can explore this aspect in detail are needed.
Originality/value – The paper has both professional and educational implications. The findings of
this paper can help identify areas where the instructors and designers of online classes need to focus.
The student engagement strategies for online courses identified should assist both experienced and
beginning online instructors in the design and successful delivery of online courses. Students taking
online courses should find the results of this study invaluable.
Keywords Online learning, Virtual learning, Information technology, Engaging students,
Virtual training, Virtual working
Paper type Literature review
In an increasingly digital society, educators are encouraged to use on-line technologies. However, much is left to be learned about how on-line tools influence student learning. In this manuscript, we use the community of inquiry (CoI) framework to examine the contribution of one on-line tool, a wiki, to a blended-learning course. Structural modeling techniques are used to analyze data collected from students in an undergraduate business capstone course. The results suggest that teaching presence, social presence, and cognitive presence (components of the community of inquiry framework) exist in a wiki environment in a manner similar to other on-line environments. Additionally, teaching presence and social presence are shown to influence cognitive presence (e.g., learning), which reaffirms that the role of the instructor continues to be paramount to student learning in technology-enhanced environments. Given that the CoI framework is a novel conceptualization recently introduced to the management education literature, we offer theoretical recommendations for researchers and practical recommendations for instructors interested in incorporating wiki technology in a blended-learning pedagogy. We believe our findings provide fresh insights on, and new possibilities for, instructional development in business education.
Online peer-to-peer problem solving (P3) communities provide a cost-effective and reliable means of delivering education and service support to customers of complex, frequently evolving products. Through a multi-disciplinary conceptual framework, we examine the roles of diversity perceptions and expressive freedom in affecting learning and social identification of online P3 community participants, and in turn, their effects on the participants' relationship with, and future intentions towards the brand. We test our hypotheses via a structural equation model with survey data obtained from 555 active members of the two largest XBOX online P3 communities in Brazil. Our results reveal that greater perceived diversity facilitates learning but hinders social identification, whereas expressive freedom has positive effects on learning, but no effect on social identification. Social identification fully mediates the effects of the antecedents on outcomes. We also discuss the theoretical contributions and the managerial implications of our findings, and suggest opportunities for future research.
This mixed-method study investigates distance education students* desire lo interact and the support for com-munity building available lo them at a department-wide level in a graduate-level instmctional systems tech-nology program. Distance education students' interactions are compared to those of the department's residential students. A modified version of Rovai's Classroom Community Scale (Rovai, 2002) for measuring program-level sense of community is piloted. Levels of student interactions with others in the department are compared to students' reported satisfaction with courses and the program as a whole. Student suggestions for changes or additional opportunities for interactions within the program are discussed.
This study explored the nurse faculty experience of participating in a problem-based learning (PBL) faculty development program.
Utilizing PBL as a pedagogical method requires a paradigm shift in the way faculty think about teaching, learning, and the teacher-student relationship.
An interpretive phenomenological analysis approach was used to explore the faculty experience in a PBL development program.
Four themes emerged: change in perception of the teacher-student relationship, struggle in letting go, uncertainty, and valuing PBL as a developmental process.
Epistemic doubt happens when action and intent toward the PBL teaching perspective do not match underlying beliefs. Findings from this study call for ongoing administrative support for education on PBL while faculty take time to uncover hidden epistemological beliefs.
Over the past decade research has recognised the learning potential of massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs). MMOGs can be used by the technology- enhanced learning research community to study and identify good educational practices that may inspire engaging, creative and motivating approaches for education and learning. To this end, in this research paper, we aim to explore the learning outcomes and processes emerging in the environment of MMOGs by initially studying the relevant perceptions of the players. Based on a theoretical framework referring to the cognitive, the social, and the affective aspects of a technology-supported learning environment, and through a mixed- method research and the analysis of qualitative data from 22 individual and group inter- views, and quantitative data from a wider survey (minimum N = 221), we map and examine the cognitive, the skill-based, the social, and the affective potential impact of MMOGs. More specifically this study presents the perceptions of players on the learning impact of MMOGs, the potential transfer of skills to other domains, the learning practices they employ, and elements of the design of the environment that may present positive conditions for learning. We attempt to contribute to the research field and also provide insights for the design of technology-enhanced learning environments, by examining and mapping elements of MMOGs from the perspective of the design of an effective learning environment and based on empirical data.
This paper looks first at some of the often unspoken epistemological, philosophical, and theoretical assumptions that are foundational to student-centered, interactive online pedagogical models. It is argued that these foundational assumptions point to the importance of learning community in the effectiveness of online learning environments. Next, a recent study of 2314 online students across thirty-two college campuses is presented. This study reports on learners' sense of community and it is concluded through factor and regression analysis that elements of the Community of Inquiry model (1)—specifically learners' recognition of effective "directed facilitation" and effective instructional design and organization on the part of their instructor contributes to their sense of shared purpose, trust, connectedness, and learning—core elements of a community of learners. Gender also appears to play a small role in students' sense of learning community with female students reporting higher levels than their male classmates. Implications for online learning environments design are discussed.
This paper describes survey research of fourteen online courses where instructors and students were asked their perceptions about the challenges and essential elements of community in online classes. Results show that both instructors and students believe building community is very important. The majority of both students and instructors perceived it to be harder to build community online than in traditional classes. Additionally, while the majority of students and instructors both identified the same elements for building online community, there were significant ranking differences. Most striking among the differences was that students ranked instructor modeling as the most important element in building online community, while instructors ranked it fourth. Implications of these findings are discussed and recommendations provided for how instructors can model community behaviors in their online classes.
The authors collected questionnaire data from college students (N = 79) at 2 time points during their freshman year to examine how changes in a sense of university belonging, quality of friendships, and psychological adjustment were associated. Students who had positive changes in university belonging had corresponding positive changes in self-perceptions (e.g., scholastic competence, self-worth) and decreases in their internalizing problem behaviors. Although the results did not link improvements over time in friendship quality to changes in self-perceptions, the authors linked them to decreasing levels of problem behaviors. The authors discuss the importance of educators' fostering university belonging and positive friendships among students as they transition to college.
This article discusses course design factors affecting the success of asynchronous online learning, with a specific focus on the social development of learning communities through online discussion. It reports on an empirical investigation of correlations between 22 course design factors and student perceptions of satisfaction, learning, and interaction with instructors and classmates using data collected from 73 courses offered through the State University of New York Learning Network (SLN) in the spring 1999 semester. Data analyses revealed that three factors were significantly related to student perceptions - clarity and consistency in course design, contact with and feedback from course instructors, and active and valued discussion. An explanation for these findings may center on the importance of creating opportunities for interaction in online learning environments. In this vein, preliminary findings from research on the development of community in online course discussions is presented. Drawn from content analyses of asynchronous discussions in an online graduate course in education, this research examines the ways in which course participants use verbal immediacy indicators to support the development of online community. Findings support an equilibrium model of social presence in online discussion which suggests that as affective communications channels are reduced, discussion participants use more verbal immediacy behaviors to support interaction among classmates. Taken together, the findings support the importance of interaction for online teaching and learning.
This paper builds on the model we have developed for creating quality online learning environments for higher education. In that model we argue that college-level online learning needs to reflect what we know about learning in general, what we understand about learning in higher-education contexts, and our emerging knowledge of learning in largely asynchronous online environments. Components of the model include a focus on learner roles, knowledge building, assessment, community, and various forms of "presence." In this paper we focus on two components—teaching presence and community—and review the rationale and benefits for an emphasis on community in online learning environments. We argue that learning is social in nature and that online learning environments can be designed to reflect and leverage the social nature of learning. We suggest that previous research points to the critical role that community can play in building and sustaining productive learning and that teaching presence, defined as the core roles of the online instructor, is among the most promising mechanism for developing online learning community. We present a multi-institutional study of 2,036 students across thirty-two different colleges that supports this claim and provides insight into the relationship between online learning community and teaching presence. Factor and regression analysis indicate a significant link between students' sense of learning community and their recognition of effective instructional design and directed facilitation on the part of their course instructors—and that student gender plays a small role in sense of learning community. We conclude with recommendations for online course design, pedagogy, and future research.
This article examines the use of Internet-and World Wide Web-based learning systems in the context of business education. I propose the concept of “online learning communities” as an organizing frame for developing online learning systems. I describe some examples of online learning communities in business and academic institutions. I discuss the learning skills needed for and implementation issues in creating online learning communities.
The seven principles of good practice in undergraduate education (Chickering and Gamson, 1987) summarize what research has shown about how to improve student learning (e.g., more intensive faculty-student contact, active learning, high standards, frequent assessment). This article describes how widely available technologies can be used to use (and enhance) each of those seven principles.
The focus group is an increasingly popular qualitative research method in health research to gain insight into complex problems. Concerns have been expressed about how best to stimulate free and open discussion; especially on controversial issues and/or when the group comprises people with different power and status. A potential pitfall of the focus group technique is group-think: the impact of censoring and conforming as described by such social psychologists as Irving Janis. The article describes an evaluation of a method to reduce groupthink and stimulate creativity and controversy in focus groups that analyzed consultation between an Australian federal government department and its communities. The article recommends to researchers using focus groups the selective use of devil's advocates to reflect different perspectives to groups, to ask questions in a different way, to introduce new questions, and to avoid groups arriving at premature solutions.
Many advocates of computer-mediated distance education emphasize its positive aspects and understate the kinds of communicative and technical capabilities and work required by students and faculty. There are few systematic analytical studies of students who have experienced new technologies in higher education. This article presents a qualitative case study of a small graduate-level web-based distance education course at a major US university.This paper examines students' distressing experiences due to communication breakdowns and technical difficulties. This topic is glossed over in much of the distance education literature written for administrators, instructors and prospective students. The intent is that this study will enhance understanding of the instructional design issues, instructor and student preparation, and communication practices that are needed to improve web-based distance education courses.
Programming subjects are one of the core and important subjects that should be taken by students majoring in information system or computing. The problem of teaching and learning of programming has been widely reported in literatures. Many attempts have been made to solve this problems and this has led to many new approaches in teaching and learning of programming. One of the approach that has been proposed is the use of pair-programming, which is one of the practice of eXtreme Programming (XP). The advent of e-learning has given birth to the idea of Virtual Pair Programming (VPP). This paper describes how asynchronous mode of collaboration using VPP could be implemented for e-learning learners to learn programming.
This paper presents a tool developed for the purpose of assessing teaching presence in online courses that make use of computer conferencing, and preliminary results from the use of this tool. The method of analysis is based on Garrison, Anderson, and Archer's  model of critical thinking and practical inquiry in a computer conferencing context. The concept of teaching presence is constitutively defined as having three categories – design and organization, facilitating discourse, and direct instruction. Indicators that we search for in the computer conference transcripts identify each category. Pilot testing of the instrument reveals interesting differences in the extent and type of teaching presence found in different graduate level online courses.
The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that asynchronous online learning can create a rich cognitive presence capable of supporting effective, higher-order learning. It begins by exploring the properties of asynchronous online learning and their link with the dimensions of higher-order learning. The dimensions of higher-order learning emerge from the concepts of reflective inquiry, self-direction and metacognition. Moreover, it is argued that the dimensions of higher-order learning, reflection and collaboration, are, in fact, congruent with the asynchronous and connectivity properties of online learning. Finally, the issues and principles of effective asynchronous online learning are explored.
Herein, we present data from two studies of Twitter usage in different postsecondary courses with the goal of analyzing the relationships surrounding student engagement and collaboration as they intersect learning outcomes. Study 1 was conducted with 125 students taking a first-year seminar course, half of who were required to use Twitter while the other half used Ning. Study 2 was conducted with 135 students taking a large lecture general education course where Twitter participation was voluntary. Faculty in Study 1 engaged with students on Twitter in activities based on an a priori theoretical model, while faculty in Study 2 only engaged students sporadically on the platform. Qualitative analyses of tweets and quantitative outcomes show that faculty participation on the platform, integration of Twitter into the course based on a theoretically driven pedagogical model and requiring students to use Twitter are essential components of improved outcomes.
What is already known about this topic
What this paper adds
Implications for practice and/or policy
This study focused on nursing student perceptions of sense of community in the online classroom. Using qualitative analysis of data gathered from five student focus groups, themes related to the affective domain in online learning were identified: aloneness, anonymity, nonverbal communication, trepidations, and unknowns. This article provides detailed examples of student experiences under each theme and suggests that greater attention to the affective domain is needed, particularly in asynchronous online learning. Pedagogical strategies that foster a sense of community in online courses between students and faculty enhance cognition through affective engagement of students. Strategies for instructors are given.
I discuss the difficulty and promise of offering an executive MBA OBHR course via an asynchronous, web-based course delivery medium. After a discussion of the rationale and trends in delivering this type of course, I present an example of how a quality classroom discussion was emulated using electronic bulletin board technology to create an on-line student-centered learning community. In this type of class, the discussion forum successfully captures and goes beyond the advantages of regular classroom discussion. In sharing one experience, this article serves as a useful source of information for other faculty who want to create a student-centered learning community in their distance classrooms. This article extends the burgeoning literature on effective distance learning by demonstrating not only how classroom discussion can be captured in the on-line venue, but also how a learning community can be created.
Virtual worlds (VWs) are becoming effective interactive platforms in the fields of education, social sciences and humanities. Computing similarity among users is a technique commonly used to make friend recommendations in social networks. However, user communities in virtual worlds tend to have fewer real world linkages and more entertainment-related goals than those in social networks. The above characteristics result in an ineffective modality with respect to applying existing friend recommendation methods in virtual worlds. This study develops a virtual friend recommendation approach based on user similarity and contact strengths in virtual worlds. In the proposed approach, users’ contact activities in virtual worlds are characterized into dynamic features and contact types to derive their contact strengths in communication-based, social-based, transaction-based, quest-based and relationship-based contact types. Classification approaches were developed to predict friend relationships based on user similarity and contact strengths among users. A novel friend recommendation approach is further developed herein to recommend friends as regards certain virtual worlds based on friend-classifiers. The evaluation uses mass data collected from an online virtual world in Taiwan, and validates the effectiveness of the proposed methodology. The experiment results show that the friend classifier that takes into account user similarity and contact strengths can elicit stronger prediction performance than the friend-classifier that considers only user similarity. Moreover, the proposed friend recommendation method outperforms the traditional friend of friend (FOF) method of friend recommendation in virtual worlds.Keywordsvirtual worldsfriend recommendationsupport vector machinesocial networks
This paper focuses on one of the most significant challenges in distance learning, the student-to-student interaction issue, by studying the interaction experiences of a group of students who have had a distance education experience. It addresses questions such as the current status of student interactions, the students' perceptions of such interactions, and the pattern emerged from such interaction behaviors. Using a phenomenological method, this study found out that the student interaction phenomenon in distance education was intertwined with many factors and themes. In order to foster an interactive learning community and encourage student interactions, all of the administrators, faculty, and staff in a distance education program need to collaborate with each other at an institutional level.
Online discussion is a popular form of web-based computer-mediated communication and is a dominant medium for cyber communities in areas of information sharing, customer support and distributed education. Automatic tools for analyzing online discussions are highly desirable for better information management and assistance. For example, a summary of student Q&A discussions or unresolved questions can help the instructor assess student dialogue efficiently, which can lead to better instructor guidance for student learning by discussion.
This paper presents an approach for classifying student discussions according to a set of discourse structures, and identifying discussions with confusion or unanswered questions. Inspired by the existing spoken dialogue analysis approaches, we first define a set of forum “speech acts” (F-SAs) that represent roles that individual messages play in threaded Q&A discussions, such as questions, raising issues, and answers. We then model discourse structures in discussion threads using the F-SAs, such as whether a question was replied to with an answer. Finally, we use such discourse structures in classifying and identifying discussions with unanswered questions or unresolved issues.
We performed an analysis of the discussion thread classifiers and the system showed accuracies from 0.79 to 0.87 on several discussion classification problems. This analysis of human conversation via online discussions provides a basis for development of future information extraction and intelligent assistance techniques for online discussions.
The purpose of this paper is to report on the findings of a study examining the relationships between community and student success in online learning. The study was conducted on undergraduate students enrolled in online courses at an accredited university on the east coast of the U.S. Results of the study indicate a strong correlation between learner interaction and engagement, sense of community, and success in online learning.
While the development of online education has been progressing rapidly, further research is needed on the experiences of students in online courses. One concept that has been explored in relation to the quality of the online learning experience is social presence, the degree to which a person is perceived as "real" in mediated communication. The purpose of this article is to discuss the findings regarding the Social Presence and Satisfaction instruments (Gunawardena & Zittle, 1997) used in a recent research study focusing on online learning. Background literature regarding social presence and existing studies of this construct in relation to online learning are analyzed. Descriptive statistics for the Social Presence Scale and Satisfaction Scale are presented and show that students in online courses feel comfortable relating and interacting in the online environment, and are satisfied with online courses. Findings support the continued reliability and validity of these scales and encourage further use of these scales in educational research.
Transformative pedagogy encourages students to critically examine their assumptions, grapple with social issues, and engage in social action. The author extends literature in this area by describing ways faculty members who teach online courses can effectively use transformative pedagogy, including (1) creating a safe environment; (2) encouraging students to think about their experiences, beliefs, and biases; (3) using teaching strategies that promote student engagement and participation; (4) posing real-world problems that address societal inequalities; and (5) helping students implement action-oriented solutions.
Science, social science, literary studies, philosophy, and history have all encountered challenges to the notion of "objectivity" in the wake of the Kuhnian revolution. These challenges, which problematize knowledge itself, have revived interest in the pragmatist notion of knowledge based in a community of inquiry. The related social constructivist recasting of curriculum thought in the past 15 years has been based not so much on the revision in the epistemology of the subject disciplines as in developments in learning theory and psychology. Using the discipline of history as a case study, this paper compares the scholarly community of inquiry with the community of inquiry in the classroom and examines the role of the teacher in negotiating the knowledge generated in each.
Research shows that some non‐traditional students find the university environment alienating, impersonal and unsupportive. The ‘Quickstart’ project combines traditional lectures and seminars with a sequence of carefully designed online tasks, aimed at lessening the impact of the start of year uncertainties for new students. One thousand students across two geographic locations participated in the programme. The project was evaluated by considering three sources of data: data generated by server statistics of 40,358 successful requests for pages in the first four weeks of teaching; student anonymous responses to an online end of course questionnaire as well as extracts from their reflective journals; and the student experience as viewed through the eyes of a researcher in the classroom. Findings offer insights into how the students blend classroom time with their own time; and student perceptions of their own learning experiences. A collaborative learning experience involving travel to a contemporary learning space (the Tate Modern Art Gallery) mitigated the possible isolating effect of the use of technology; instead the technology enhanced the discussion and participation in activities. The students visited the Tate Modern and then facilitated their discussions by sending each other SMS text messages; they bonded very quickly in the seminar groups, where weekly online tasks that had been prepared individually ‘outside’ the classroom were the focus of group discussion and debate ‘inside the classroom’; their end of semester reflective writing showed very clearly how valuable the early ‘friendship’ groups had been for them settling into university life.
This paper represents a review of the second edition of Distance Education: A Systems View by Michael Moore and Greg Kearsley (Thomas/Wadsworth, 2005). This second edition reflects a view of current applications of distance education, based on the vantage of instructional systems design. The strengths of the book are reflected in the uniqueness of its consideration of online courses, in particular from the point of view of systematic development and management.
This study sought to understand how an online cohort in a master's program, comprised of teachers from the same school district, constructed knowledge about instructional theories and practices. Participants in this descriptive study included 10 teachers from the same rural school district. Data collection consisted of a focus group and written survey. Four constructs guided the development of questions: collaboration, learning community, course design, and individual factors. Findings showed that cohort members drew on one another's strength to support their collective learning throughout the program. One unexpected finding was the role that face-to-face, informal study groups played in support knowledge construction and technology skill building.
Presents a systems model for developing instruction in the affective domain and offers a checklist for instructional design. Topics discussed include conducting a needs assessment; behavioral objectives; sequencing affective objectives; the relationship between affective and cognitive behaviors; selecting instructional procedures; and designing affective evaluation strategies. (16 references) (LRW)
As technological advances continue to expand connectivity and communication, the number of patients and nurses engaging in social media increases. Nurses play a significant role in identification, interpretation, and transmission of knowledge and information within healthcare. Social media is a platform that can assist nursing faculty in helping students to gain greater understanding of and/or skills in professional communication; health policy; patient privacy and ethics; and writing competencies. Although there are barriers to integration of social media within nursing education, there are quality resources available to assist faculty to integrate social media as a viable pedagogical method. This article discusses the background and significance of social media tools as pedagogy, and provides a brief review of literature. To assist nurse educators who may be using or considering social media tools, the article offers selected examples of sound and pedagogically functional use in course and program applications; consideration of privacy concerns and advantages and disadvantages; and tips for success.
Healthcare professionals have established that experience gained through simulation is a fundamental learning activity in developing competent nurses. An emerging technology that has, up to now, had little consideration as a clinical simulation platform is three-dimensional multi-user virtual environments. The purpose of this study was to explore Second Life as a clinical simulation platform, based on the attitudes and experiences of a sample of undergraduate nursing students. Teams of self-selected students were placed in separate locations and participated in a clinical simulation developed in Second Life. The simulation involved a series of problem-based scenarios which incorporated concepts of technical skills, patient interaction, team work, and situational awareness. Results from a set of investigative interviews provided evidence to support Second Life as a learning format for simulating clinical experience.
The purpose of this study was to develop a theory about the process through which community formed in adult computer-mediated asynchronous distance learning classes. A grounded theory design incorporated archived class input as well as interviews with twenty-one students and three faculty members from three graduate-level distance education classes. A three-stage phenomenon was ascertained. The first stage was making friends on-line with whom students felt comfortable communicating. The second stage was community conferment (acceptance) which occurred when students were part of a long, thoughtful, threaded discussion on a subject of importance after which participants felt both personal satisfaction and kinship. The third stage was camaraderie which was achieved after long-term or intense association with others involving personal communication. Each of these stages involved a greater degree of engagement in both the class and the dialogue. Causal conditions, intervening conditions, strategies and consequences were enumerated. A visual model of the entire process of community-building was advanced. Benefits of community were noted, and suggestions were made to facilitate the formation of an on-line community.
A discussion about how instructors can host a hospitable online learning environment can address one of the fundamental philosophical and theological concerns frequently expressed about online learning – the loss of face-to-face interaction and, with it, the loss of community building (cf. Delamarter 2005, 138). This perceived link between physical presence and community creation, sometimes articulated, frequently assumed, often stands in the way of instructors, administrators, and even institutions fully embracing online learning. This article will argue that when one gives due attention to hospitality, the potential for building online community is greatly enhanced, and with it comes a more effective pedagogical strategy for deep learning. It will conclude with some general recommendations for employing hospitality for building online learning communities.
The purpose of this study was to analyze a five-week graduate-level education course taught entirely at a distance via the
Internet using the Blackboard.comSM e-learning system, with emphasis on exploring the dynamics of sense of classroom community. Subjects were 20 adult learners,
evenly divided between males and females, who were administered the sense of classroom community index at the beginning and
end of the course in order to measure classroom community. Findings indicated that on-line learners took advantage of the
“learn anytime” characteristics of the Internet by accessing the course seven days per week, 24 hours per day. Sense of classroom
community grew significantly during the course. Females manifested a stronger sense of community than their male counterparts
both at the start and end of the course. Additionally, female students exhibited a mostly connected communication pattern
while the communication pattern of males was mostly independent.