Creating a Motivated Online Graduate Community

Creating a Motivated Online Graduate Community

Joan E. Aitken (Park University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-878-9.ch012
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The purpose of this chapter is to provide a case study of the problem solving processes of a faculty who developed a new graduate program in communication studies. Students could take all courses online, all onground, or use a combination of the two delivery formats. For the totally online program, a key desire was to help students and faculty achieve a sense of a collaborative community. Students needed to get to know each other and feel a part of the whole program, even though course delivery for some students was totally online. Further, the faculty sought to motivate students to engage in a challenging program of research and application.
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This section provides a historical orientation to the case.

The University in this case had an established undergraduate program in communication studies, which uses traditional, face-to-face, distance location, and online courses. The administration of the university has actively worked to encourage faculty to develop more online courses, as has happened in other universities (Applegate, 2002). A key faculty member in the department developed the proposed graduate program, which was designed to be available onground and online, or through a combination of courses.

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