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].

This article has 4 comments

  1. Gloria Reply

    Hi! George,

    I will be following your blog. I look forward to reading about your insights and experiences regarding online strategies…

  2. Gloria Reply

    Nice post, George…

    Dr. Rena Palloff and Dr. Keith Pratt also note that “It’s everyone’s responsibility to create a successful learning community…Learner-to-learner engagement works (because) it reiterates the “who-I-am” social presence in an online environment.”

    Online tools such as discussion boards, collaborative activities reiterate co-constructive knowledge and meaning… Personal reflection allows the learner to synthesize all of these components and deepen their perception as well as transform their thinking.

  3. Monica M Besterci Reply

    I love that you always add graphics that help me (and others) understand and see what you are focusing on. I agree with your opinion that the most important aspect of online learning is the learner-to-learner engagement. That is so true. I have found when reading other’s post to discussion questions and response that I “see” information that I missed when doing the readings. Others also tend to see things differently from ourselves and I think that increases our understandings when we read that what gather from the assignments. I know from many course with you, that you see things differently than I do and I always look forward to seeing your interpretations.

  4. Carla Reply

    One of the positive components of the online learning environment that I share with individuals who are considering joining the community is the learner-to-learner engagement. Especially for individuals that had a hard time sharing in the traditional classroom, such as myself, the online learning community allowed me to comfortably share my opinion and review others. Collaborating with one another makes the online learning community successful.

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