Creating a community of learners online:

Engaging online learners online

Lynn Boyle, David Walker, Lorraine Walsh

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther

    Abstract

    Evidence indicates that a demand exists from students - studying at a distance - to experience a greater level of connection as individual learners to their peers and tutors (Daviault & Coelho, 2003; Zembylas, 2008; and Dickey, 2004). This presentation will demonstrate that a course of study, developed in line with social constructivist principles, can scaffold student attainment; sustain student engagement; and improve confidence among learners. Second year distance learning students on a Childcare Practice degree programme have been offered regular online real-time discussions and tutorials using web conferencing technology. Previously these students had limited communication with tutors via telephone and email and had no formal opportunities to contact their peers. The sessions have been offered in the evenings to accommodate the work and family commitments of a diverse study body. Sessions have covered module specific themes and study skills with additional student-led “surgery” sessions where participants were afforded the opportunity to engage in a question and answer session with the module tutor. Early feedback has indicated that these sessions have been well received with those students who engaged responding with enthusiasm – one session was attended by more than 40 students. Specific comments have highlighted that participants benefited from regular, synchronous contact with a tutor and appreciated the ability to discuss issues and clarify key concepts. This presentation will also consider, with examples from practice, whether tutors need to realign their attitudes to communication and availability in their teaching practice to meet the needs and expectations of the student population in online distance learning. It will also consider the extent to which real-time online tutorials and discussions can facilitate the development of a community of learners (Wenger, 2002) and develop learner self-regulation. Limitations in the approach outlined will be discussed and opportunities for future developments considered
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 2011
    Event6th Plymouth e-Learning Conference: Digital futures: learning in a connected world - Plymouth, United Kingdom
    Duration: 6 Apr 20118 Apr 2011

    Conference

    Conference6th Plymouth e-Learning Conference: Digital futures: learning in a connected world
    CountryUnited Kingdom
    CityPlymouth
    Period6/04/118/04/11

    Fingerprint

    tutor
    community
    student
    distance learning
    contact
    communication
    self-regulation
    teaching practice
    surgery
    telephone
    confidence
    commitment
    demand
    ability
    evidence
    experience
    time

    Keywords

    • Distance learning
    • Electronic distance education

    Cite this

    Boyle, L., Walker, D., & Walsh, L. (2011). Creating a community of learners online: Engaging online learners online. 6th Plymouth e-Learning Conference: Digital futures: learning in a connected world, Plymouth, United Kingdom.
    Boyle, Lynn ; Walker, David ; Walsh, Lorraine. / Creating a community of learners online: Engaging online learners online. 6th Plymouth e-Learning Conference: Digital futures: learning in a connected world, Plymouth, United Kingdom.
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    title = "Creating a community of learners online:: Engaging online learners online",
    abstract = "Evidence indicates that a demand exists from students - studying at a distance - to experience a greater level of connection as individual learners to their peers and tutors (Daviault & Coelho, 2003; Zembylas, 2008; and Dickey, 2004). This presentation will demonstrate that a course of study, developed in line with social constructivist principles, can scaffold student attainment; sustain student engagement; and improve confidence among learners. Second year distance learning students on a Childcare Practice degree programme have been offered regular online real-time discussions and tutorials using web conferencing technology. Previously these students had limited communication with tutors via telephone and email and had no formal opportunities to contact their peers. The sessions have been offered in the evenings to accommodate the work and family commitments of a diverse study body. Sessions have covered module specific themes and study skills with additional student-led “surgery” sessions where participants were afforded the opportunity to engage in a question and answer session with the module tutor. Early feedback has indicated that these sessions have been well received with those students who engaged responding with enthusiasm – one session was attended by more than 40 students. Specific comments have highlighted that participants benefited from regular, synchronous contact with a tutor and appreciated the ability to discuss issues and clarify key concepts. This presentation will also consider, with examples from practice, whether tutors need to realign their attitudes to communication and availability in their teaching practice to meet the needs and expectations of the student population in online distance learning. It will also consider the extent to which real-time online tutorials and discussions can facilitate the development of a community of learners (Wenger, 2002) and develop learner self-regulation. Limitations in the approach outlined will be discussed and opportunities for future developments considered",
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    author = "Lynn Boyle and David Walker and Lorraine Walsh",
    year = "2011",
    language = "English",
    note = "6th Plymouth e-Learning Conference: Digital futures: learning in a connected world ; Conference date: 06-04-2011 Through 08-04-2011",

    }

    Boyle, L, Walker, D & Walsh, L 2011, 'Creating a community of learners online: Engaging online learners online' 6th Plymouth e-Learning Conference: Digital futures: learning in a connected world, Plymouth, United Kingdom, 6/04/11 - 8/04/11, .

    Creating a community of learners online: Engaging online learners online. / Boyle, Lynn; Walker, David; Walsh, Lorraine.

    2011. 6th Plymouth e-Learning Conference: Digital futures: learning in a connected world, Plymouth, United Kingdom.

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther

    TY - CONF

    T1 - Creating a community of learners online:

    T2 - Engaging online learners online

    AU - Boyle, Lynn

    AU - Walker, David

    AU - Walsh, Lorraine

    PY - 2011

    Y1 - 2011

    N2 - Evidence indicates that a demand exists from students - studying at a distance - to experience a greater level of connection as individual learners to their peers and tutors (Daviault & Coelho, 2003; Zembylas, 2008; and Dickey, 2004). This presentation will demonstrate that a course of study, developed in line with social constructivist principles, can scaffold student attainment; sustain student engagement; and improve confidence among learners. Second year distance learning students on a Childcare Practice degree programme have been offered regular online real-time discussions and tutorials using web conferencing technology. Previously these students had limited communication with tutors via telephone and email and had no formal opportunities to contact their peers. The sessions have been offered in the evenings to accommodate the work and family commitments of a diverse study body. Sessions have covered module specific themes and study skills with additional student-led “surgery” sessions where participants were afforded the opportunity to engage in a question and answer session with the module tutor. Early feedback has indicated that these sessions have been well received with those students who engaged responding with enthusiasm – one session was attended by more than 40 students. Specific comments have highlighted that participants benefited from regular, synchronous contact with a tutor and appreciated the ability to discuss issues and clarify key concepts. This presentation will also consider, with examples from practice, whether tutors need to realign their attitudes to communication and availability in their teaching practice to meet the needs and expectations of the student population in online distance learning. It will also consider the extent to which real-time online tutorials and discussions can facilitate the development of a community of learners (Wenger, 2002) and develop learner self-regulation. Limitations in the approach outlined will be discussed and opportunities for future developments considered

    AB - Evidence indicates that a demand exists from students - studying at a distance - to experience a greater level of connection as individual learners to their peers and tutors (Daviault & Coelho, 2003; Zembylas, 2008; and Dickey, 2004). This presentation will demonstrate that a course of study, developed in line with social constructivist principles, can scaffold student attainment; sustain student engagement; and improve confidence among learners. Second year distance learning students on a Childcare Practice degree programme have been offered regular online real-time discussions and tutorials using web conferencing technology. Previously these students had limited communication with tutors via telephone and email and had no formal opportunities to contact their peers. The sessions have been offered in the evenings to accommodate the work and family commitments of a diverse study body. Sessions have covered module specific themes and study skills with additional student-led “surgery” sessions where participants were afforded the opportunity to engage in a question and answer session with the module tutor. Early feedback has indicated that these sessions have been well received with those students who engaged responding with enthusiasm – one session was attended by more than 40 students. Specific comments have highlighted that participants benefited from regular, synchronous contact with a tutor and appreciated the ability to discuss issues and clarify key concepts. This presentation will also consider, with examples from practice, whether tutors need to realign their attitudes to communication and availability in their teaching practice to meet the needs and expectations of the student population in online distance learning. It will also consider the extent to which real-time online tutorials and discussions can facilitate the development of a community of learners (Wenger, 2002) and develop learner self-regulation. Limitations in the approach outlined will be discussed and opportunities for future developments considered

    KW - Distance learning

    KW - Electronic distance education

    M3 - Other

    ER -

    Boyle L, Walker D, Walsh L. Creating a community of learners online: Engaging online learners online. 2011. 6th Plymouth e-Learning Conference: Digital futures: learning in a connected world, Plymouth, United Kingdom.