Addressing Online Student Learning Environments and Socialization Through Developmental Research

Addressing Online Student Learning Environments and Socialization Through Developmental Research

Ruth Gannon Cook (DePaul University, USA) and Caroline M. Crawford (University of Houston – Clear Lake, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-942-7.ch019
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Abstract

The chapter looks at the online learners in the course to distinguish whether interactivity and an online community was established. This case study also considers the shift that took place in the learners’ focus from simply participating in an online course to reframing their understanding of the course content and whether this holistic approach reflects both the students’ and instructor’s learning objectives and anticipated outcomes. Design, development and implementation of online learning environments have predominated distance education research over the past fifteen years. Since 2006, dynamic communities of learning have begun to emerge that encompass a more expansive learning environment, addressing the needs of adult learners and their sociocultural environments as well as content materials. This study employs developmental research to examine online learners engaged within a dynamic learning community and provides detailed feedback on the strengths and potential weaknesses of the online course employed in the study.

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