Sense of Community in an Online Graduate Program
A sense of community among learners is recognized as contributing to positive student outcomes. Synchronous learning opportunities may serve as one way to create a sense of community among online learners. Findings are shared from a mixed-method study that examined the impact of synchronous discussion sessions on students’ sense of community, as well as additional factors to consider when creating a sense of community. Cultivating trusting relationships by providing students with multiple opportunities for authentic, spontaneous, supportive discussion with people they know well emerged as central to fostering a sense of community. Implications for online learning in higher education and future research needs are discussed.
Copyright (c) 2019 Heidi Renee Cornell, Donna Sayman, Jason Herron
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