Online Community Building (Class)

Class Discussion: Online Community Building

The goal of this discussion is to explore the qualities, benefits, challenges and responsibilities associated with online community building. This discussion is linked to the following Learning Outcomes:

Learning OutcomeSelf-Assessment Criteria
Facilitate online learning effectively Discuss strategies for initially engaging learners in an online learning community.
Build and sustain online community Uses appropriate strategies to develop and support an online learning community.


Let's tackle this in two threads:

Thread 1: Images of Community

Grab a cup of tea and spend 3 minutes watching this video on Online Learning Communities. Think about:

  • Which image resonated with you the most and why?
  • What does "online learning community" mean to you?

Now, find or create at least 2 images, paste them onto PowerPoint or Keynote slides and type a word or phase to accompany them. Attach them to your post. Here are a couple of sites to get you started with images but feel free to snap your own photos, grab clipart, draw, etc.:

Be aware of copyright! Cite your sources.

We can create our own video. Unless one of you volunteers for the job, the ISWO facilitators will compile these and find some music to add (suggestions?)

Thread 2: Response to Readings

Read the readings for Unit 1 and then create a post addressing at least a couple of the following questions:

  • What are some of the challenges in community building within online environments?
  • What are the roles & responsibilities of facilitators and participants in building and sustaining community?
  • What creative strategies can facilitators employ to support participant behaviours that foster online community?
  • How can newer communications technologies (e.g., Web 2.0 tools, user-created/published media) play a role in building community?

Once you have posted your responses, review others' posts and look for themes that seem to link the various perspectives.

As you do this, reply to your colleagues - ask clarifying questions; gently challenge their thinking; offer ideas/additional examples to expand their thinking.

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