Community in Virtual Learning Environments

Community in Virtual Learning Environments

Holly McCracken (University of Illinois at Springfield, USA)
Copyright: © 2005 |Pages: 6
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-555-9.ch046
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The development of dynamic learning communities is generally believed to be critical to providing engaging and multi-dimensional instructional experiences for participants in a range of educational environments (for example, as accessed through academic institutions, corporate staff development, professional organizations, and so forth). Both wide-scale anecdotal feedback and more formal research indicate that this aspect of a virtual classroom is particularly essential to student satisfaction, motivation, and retention in Web-based environments (Boettcher, 2004; Collison, Elbaum, Haavind, & Tinker, 2000; Kearsley, 2000; Palloff & Pratt, 1999, 2001; Rovai, 2002). For example, Fredericksen, Pelz, Pickett, Shea, and Swan (2001) surveyed 1,406 on-line students about their experiences in, satisfaction with, and perceptions of the Web-based classroom. Among the largest studies completed to date, it substantiated the correlation between, and importance of, student-to-student and instructor-to-student interaction to perceived learning effectiveness in virtual learning environments.

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