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Evaluating Virtual Learning Communities
A fundamental task for educational technology professionals is to help companies and educational institutions run their businesses and stay competitive and responsive to the demands of their consumers. This requires you to be familiar with emerging teaching and learning tools to deliver collaborative courses and training. For this Discussion, you will analyze the concepts of “sense of community” and “collaboration” in eLearning environments. You will also evaluate virtual delivery systems to determine which system best suits the needs of a virtual learning community in your workplace.
Read “A Framework for Collaborative Networked Learning in Higher Education: Design & Analysis,” which explores the framework for planning, designing, and implementing collaborative learning systems. Review “Using Social Network Analysis to Understand Sense of Community in an Online Learning Environment” and the research findings of the unique interaction patterns for students in online courses. Finally, view the media piece in this module’s Learning Resources with a focus on the “Delivery” section.
Consider the variety of virtual delivery systems, which exist for the creation of learning communities (such as, mobile and micro learning; social media; massive open online courses, called MOOCs; learning management systems/online learning spaces; and video conferencing). Research and choose one or a combination of delivery systems that you believe are best to create a virtual-learning community in your workplace.
Post the following by Day 7 of Week 7:
Explain how a strong sense of community can be established and maintained in an eLearning environment as well as contrast “sense of community” with “collaboration.” Explain why your choice of a virtual delivery system(s) is the best delivery model for your workplace. Include in your explanation how it maximizes access for your audience as well as how it enhances the ability of your audience to connect and share a sense of community. Defend your choices from personal experience, a learning theory, and at least oneresearch study (PhD and EdS student).