Building Online Learning Communities: Effective Strategies for the Virtual Classroom, 2nd Edition
July 2007, Jossey-Bass
- Engaging students in the formation of an online learning community.
- Establishing a sense of presence online.
- Maximizing participation.
- Developing effective courses that include collaboration and reflection.
- Assessing student performance.
Written for faculty in any distance learning environment, this revised edition is based on the authors many years of work in faculty development for online teaching as well as their extensive personal experience as faculty in online distance education. Rena M. Palloff and Keith Pratt share insights designed to guide readers through the steps of online course design and delivery.
Preface to the Second Edition.
PART ONE: The Learning Community in Online Learning.
One: When Teaching and Learning Leave the Classroom.
Online Issues and Concerns.
Making the Transition and Establishing Presence.
The Search for Knowledge and Meaning in the Online Classroom.
Putting the Pieces Together.
New Approaches, New Skills.
Two: Recontextualizing Community.
The Importance of Community.
The Element of Social Presence.
Coalescence and Belonging Online.
Community in the Virtual Classroom.
Participation and Desired Outcomes in the Online Classroom.
Three: The Human Side of Online Learning.
The Need for Human Contact.
Connectedness and Coalescence.
Shared Responsibility, Rules, and Norms.
Roles and Participation.
Shadow Issues: The Issues We Simply Don't Want to Face.
Other Psychological Issues.
Ritual as the Psychological Expression of Community.
Culture and Language Issues.
Vulnerability, Ethics, and Privacy.
Four: Practical Considerations in Online Learning.
Cost and Other Administrative Issues.
Five: Managing the Relationship to Technology.
The Relationship of Person to Machine.
Technology as a Facilitative Tool.
Excuse Us, We Are Now Experiencing Technical Difficulties.
Six: Moving Teaching and Learning Online.
Effective Teaching and Learning in the Online Classroom.
Roles and Functions of the Instructor in the Online Classroom.
The Role of the Learner in the Learning Process.
The Hybrid Course and Online Community.
Moving to Specifics.
PART TWO: TEACHING AND LEARNING IN THE VIRTUAL LEARNING COMMUNITY.
Seven: Building Foundations.
Creating an Effective Course Design.
Constructing the Online Course Site.
If You Build It, Will They Come?
Guiding Questions to Assist in Building an Effective Course Syllabus.
Evaluating an Effective Online Course.
Eight: Promoting Collaborative Learning.
Formulating a Shared Goal for Learning.
Problems, Interests, and Experiences as Springboards for Learning.
Dialogue as Inquiry.
Encouraging Expansive Questioning.
Sharing Responsibility for Facilitation.
Intergroup and Other Forms of Collaboration.
Guiding Questions to Promote Collaborative Learning.
Nine: Transformative Learning.
The Process of Transformative Learning in the Online Classroom.
Learning About Learning Through the Use of Technology.
Creating Opportunities to Encourage Reflection on the Differences.
Learning About Technology by Using It.
Encouraging Questions and Comments About the Technology.
Final Thoughts: We Are the Experts When It Comes to Our Own Learning.
Guiding Questions to Promote Transformative Learning.
Ten: Student Assessment and Course Evaluation.
Assessment and Evaluation Basics.
Questions to Consider in Student, Course, and Program Evaluation.
Eleven: Lessons Learned and a Look Ahead.
The Six Essential Elements.
The Essence of Online Learning: Community.
Unresolved Issues and Unanswered Questions.
Lessons Learned and a Look to the Future.
Extending Community Beyond the Classroom.
Implications for Instructor Training.
APPENDIX A: Examples of Course Syllabi.
APPENDIX B: Glossary of Terms Used in Online Learning.
APPENDIX C: Internet Resources for Distance Education.
This book is particularly valuable for educators with minimal knowledge of online learning… The authors have included everything needed to build a strong, successful online course.”
(Adult Learning Magazine Volume 19, Numbers 1&2, Winter and Spring 2008)
" . . .the authors' central premise is that a collaborative learning community is the best vehicle for distance education." (Journal of Continuing Higher Education, Fall 2007)
"There will be a range of 'ah ha' moments for the reader working with students in building online learning communities." (NACADA, Nov 20, 2007)"The focus on community makes this volume distinctive in the literature about online teaching and learning. The authors' expertise spans the nitty-gritty, practical aspects of the virtual classroom with the larger questions and context of twenty-first century education. This book goes way beyond the how-to's of online education to a sophisticated consideration of the major challenges of teaching and learning."
—Anna DiStefano, provost, Fielding Graduate University
"This book captures the essence of a successful virtual learning
experience for both students and teachers. Palloff and Pratt share
valuable insights that only expert practitioners could so clearly
—David Wicks, director of instructional technology, Seattle Pacific University
"As the physical and virtual worlds converge to become the 'real
world' of teaching and learning, communities play increasingly
important roles in bridging distances and differences. This book
underscores the real value that communities bring to distributed
learning experiences, and gives readers plenty of guidance and
advice for creating communities that connect, engage, and
—Ellen Wagner, senior director, WW eLearning Solutions, Adobe Systems
"This book is a must-read for faculty who truly want to help
students understand and apply knowledge, and thus prepare for life
in the twenty-first century. Palloff and Pratt have reaffirmed
their roles as educational leaders in the development of online
learning communities, reminding us of the significant benefits of
such communities to learners at all levels."
—Jack A. Chambers, executive director, Office of Organizational Learning Services, Florida Community College at Jacksonville
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