No Student is an Island—Students’ Perspectives of Sense of Community in Online Higher Education

Adam, Emily (2020) No Student is an Island—Students’ Perspectives of Sense of Community in Online Higher Education. In: McKenzie, Stephen, Garivaldis, Filia, and Dyer, Kyle, (eds.) Tertiary Online Teaching and Learning: TOTAL Perspectives and Resources for Digital Education. Springer, Singapore, pp. 199-205.

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The Australian Department of Education and Training statistics show that more students than ever are enrolling in online study (Australian Government Department of Education, 2019), a trend that is mirrored abroad (Grinder, Kelly-Reid, & Mann, 2019). Research also show that the majority of Australian students enrolled in online programs are mature-age students (Norton, Cherastidtham, & Mackey, 2018). The increased popularity of online programs, especially for mature-age students, likely reflects the need for students to fit their study around the competing demands of work and family life. Whilst online courses offer students increased flexibility, they also present a challenge when it comes to building a sense of community. Higher education research shows that sense of belonging and community in higher education is positively associated with academic performance, self-confidence, engagement, retention, and satisfaction with the university experience (Freeman, Anderman, & Jensen, 2007; Chang & Smith, 2008; Hausmann, Schofield, & Woods, 2007; LaPointe & Gunawardena, 2004; Liu, Magjuka, Bonk, & Lee, 2007; Ouzts, 2006; Rovai, Wighting, & Liu, 2005; Strayhorn, 2012; Swan, 2002; Thomas, Herbert, & Teras, 2014). Conversely, feelings of isolation and alienation among online learners contribute to learner dissatisfaction and attrition (Rovai, 2001; Schaeffer & Konetes, 2010). This chapter will describe the challenges faced when building a sense of community for fully online students and outline strategies to address the unique challenges faced in a fully online program.

Item ID: 78592
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-981-15-8928-7
Copyright Information: © 2020 Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd.
Date Deposited: 18 May 2023 06:35
FoR Codes: 52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5299 Other psychology > 529999 Other psychology not elsewhere classified @ 50%
39 EDUCATION > 3901 Curriculum and pedagogy > 390107 Humanities and social sciences curriculum and pedagogy (excl. economics, business and management) @ 50%
SEO Codes: 16 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 1603 Teaching and curriculum > 160304 Teaching and instruction technologies @ 50%
16 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 1603 Teaching and curriculum > 160399 Teaching and curriculum not elsewhere classified @ 50%
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