Vol. 35 No. 1 (2020): Special Issue on Technology and Teacher Education
Special Issue

Instructor Perspectives on Building Community in Online Discussion-Based Courses : Issues of Pedagogy and Functionality

Kimberley Mackinnon
Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, OISE
Alexandra Makos
Lesley Wilton
Clare Brett
Taru Malhotra
Ph.D. Candidate in the Faculty of Education at York University
Teresa Avery
Preeti Raman
Published October 30, 2020
How to Cite
Mackinnon, K., Makos, A., Wilton, L., Brett, C., Malhotra, T., Avery, T., & Raman, P. (2020). Instructor Perspectives on Building Community in Online Discussion-Based Courses : Issues of Pedagogy and Functionality. International Journal of E-Learning & Distance Education / Revue Internationale Du E-Learning Et La Formation à Distance, 35(1). Retrieved from https://www.ijede.ca/index.php/jde/article/view/1169


Abstract: Education in this digital age is at a pivotal moment, as technological capability, accessibility, and increased financial pressure on educational institutions make online courses particularly attractive for both students and institutions. The growing pervasiveness of online learning across educational sectors brings forth the need to carefully identify the most promising opportunities and widespread challenges for maximizing student experience in online learning environments (Brett, 2016). In this study, three expert practitioners will analyze their research using PeppeR, a web-based collaborative workspace designed to promote learning within an online community. The analysis is meant to elicit recommendations that may be useful for building online courses in which collective meaning-making is an intentional goal. Analyses provide a practical synthesis of research-based insights gained from the daily challenges of over a decade of teaching and learning online. Several themes emerged from the review and emphasize the importance of different aspects of pedagogical design, communication, and evaluation. Different forms of modalities, strategies, and customization in the learning management system are discussed, including personalized messaging, instructor videos, and use of hashtags.

Keywords: interaction, design, online learning, presence

Résumé: L'éducation en cette ère numérique se trouve à un moment charnière, car la capacité technologique, l'accessibilité et la pression financière accrue sur les établissements d'enseignement rendent les cours en ligne particulièrement attrayants pour les deux étudiants et les établissements. L'omniprésence croissante de l'apprentissage en ligne dans les secteurs de l'éducation met en avant évidence la nécessité d'identifier soigneusement les opportunités les plus prometteuses et les défis les plus répandus pour maximiser l'expérience des étudiants dans les environnements d'apprentissage en ligne (Brett, 2016). À l'aide de PeppeR, un espace de travail collaboratif basé sur le Web conçu pour promouvoir l'apprentissage au sein d'une communauté en ligne, dans cette étude, trois praticiens experts analyseront leurs recherches et leurs pratiques en ordre de obtenir des recommandations qui pourraient être utiles pour construire des cours en ligne dans lesquels la prise de sens collective est un objectif intentionnel. Les analyses fournissent une synthèse pratique des connaissances basées sur la recherche tirées des défis quotidiens de plus d'une décennie d'enseignement et d'apprentissage en ligne. Plusieurs thèmes se dégagent de la revue et soulignent l'importance de différents aspects de la conception pédagogique, de la communication et de l'évaluation. Différentes formes de modalités, de stratégies et de personnalisation dans le système de gestion de l'apprentissage discuté, y compris la messagerie personnalisée, les vidéos de l'instructeur et l'utilisation de hashtags, etc.

Mots clés: interaction, conception, apprentissage en ligne, présence


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