Dr. Rena Palloff and Dr. Keith Pratt, 2010, in their video describe how online learning communities help students pull together to support one another in a learning process. Community learning help the students explore the content of courses and in co-constructing knowledge and meaning about the content being learned. The speakers also talk about how learning communities challenge each other and stimulate thought process in professionally given feedback.
To understand what an online community is, they provide a list of essential elements for an online community. These are:
- People – you need to have people to build a community
- Purpose – you need to have a purpose for the community which in this case is the coming together of people to take an online class
- Process – the way that an online course is delivered
- Method – the way in which people communicate and interact with one another
- Social Presence – a way of establishing a sense of who each person is in an online environment
The greatest asset in a learning community is the power of learner-to-learner engagement. Talking and sharing ideas and experiences help to reinforce learned concepts with real shared life experiences. Online communities are also not limited to course or class hours but can continue on to sustained relationships after the course has been completed.
Laureate Education (Producer). (2010). Online learning communities [Video file].