How to build an online learning community as an online student
Learning communities create an avenue to engage with other students and share knowledge, irrespective of students location.
Online courses are becoming increasingly popular as students find new ways to attain credits that could only be done in a traditional classroom setting. Although online courses are very beneficial, many do not have the kind of learning community that traditional classrooms have.
Learning online can be a very lonely process. You sit with your computer, studying your course and participating in your course activities, unaware of your course mates and their struggles in the course. But this shouldn't be so. Online learning should go beyond sitting in front of your computer; real engagement occurs when you become a part of a learning community. Learning communities create an avenue to engage with other students and share knowledge, irrespective of students location.
So how do you create an online learning community?
These steps below would help you do that:
1. Get to know your course mates: All online courses have discussion forums and other avenues to interact with fellow students and teachers within the course. In order to build a learning community, you need to get to know your courses mates as well as their learning challenges in the course. This knowledge enables you to establish common interests and set up a learning community involving students with these common interests.
2. Embrace social media: Social media is a very useful tool in online learning. You need to create a social media group for you and your course mates and engage them in conversation around assignments, challenges with coursework or to schedule study time. You can also set up virtual events through social media group and use it to share images, videos, and ideas with your learning group.
3. Make it interactive: In a community, people help each other. It is your responsibility to encourage students in your learning community to be critical thinkers and have them comment and give feedback on each others' work. You have to create ways for everyone in the group to challenge each other. You can also appoint students in your group to take up some lead tasks, so everyone has a responsibility towards the group.
4. Engage in extra-curricular activities: Now that your learning community is up and running, members in your group actively engaged in the course work, you can now introduce some extra-curricular activities for members of your community. For example, you can plan for a physical meet-up at the end of the semester. This could be at a central location or small meetings of members in specific locations close to them.
Finally, do not forget to monitor the progress of all students in your community. At regular intervals and especially at the end of the semester, you must ask yourself if your community has helped improve yours and other students academic performance in their course.
Do you an online learning community? We would like you to share your experiences with us in the comment boxes.
How to build an online learning community as an online student Reviewed by Crystal Edge on 12:43:00 am Rating: