Evaluating an online learning community: Intellectual, social and emotional development and transfromations

Elaine Khoo, Michael Forret

Abstract


Developing online learning communities is a promising pedagogical approach in online learning contexts for adult tertiary learners, but it is no easy task. Understanding how learning communities are formed and evaluating their efficacy in supporting teaching-learning involves a complex set of issues that have a bearing on the design and facilitation of successful online learning experiences. This paper presents findings of a case study of a semester-long online graduate course designed to facilitate a learning community at a New Zealand tertiary institution. It adopts a sociocultural analytical framework and argues for a multiple developmental analytical approach to evaluating learning that considers lecturer and student intellectual, social and emotional development and transformations. Implications are presented for online lecturers, course designers and institutional administrators.

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DOI: 10.15663/wje.v16i1.75

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© Wilf Malcolm Institute of Educational Research, Te Kura Toi Tangata Faculty of Education, 2015