Sunday, May 12, 2013

Online Learning Communities

The goal of most classrooms is to become more of a hybrid classroom. These classrooms aim to boast the benefits of a traditional class room setting infused with technology to increase student and teacher interaction and provide a unique type of learning environment.  “While the traditional classroom remains teacher centered, the online environment fosters more interaction among students and is one of the cited benefits of online learning by both teachers and students (Stacey, & Wiesenberg, 2007).”

The hybrid classroom requires a considerable amount of planning and additional resources which makes them hard to develop without proper funding and resources. “Although considerable time is needed to build the course material prior to launching the course, teachers have seen growth in their craft by the reflective practice of reviewing their content for delivery online and in the rich discussions students create online and which instructors facilitate rather than dictate (So, & Bush, 2008).” 

The flexibility and access to course materials that hybrid classrooms offer is very beneficial to the students and the instructor. It removes limitations that were once present before the advent of online learning. Learning can take place in a face to face setting, synchronous or asynchronous environment. The typical restrictions and limitations that were accepted in the learning world are now being shattered and considered unacceptable. For example, the limitations of the learning location is no longer an issue. Students are able to cross collaborate with other students and instructors across the globe.

As the spectrum of learning is changing so are the expectations of students and instructors. Both students and instructors need to understand that online learning complements the traditional instruction without doubling the workload (So, & Bush, 2008). Teachers who pay attention to student workload and facilitate their online environment, the benefits are greater for blended classroom instruction than either virtual or face-to-face methods alone (Gedik, Kiraz, & Özden, 2012).


Gedik, N., Kiraz, E., & Özden, M. Y. (2012).  The optimum blend: Affordances and
challenges of blended learning for students.  Turkish Online Journal of Qualitative Inquiry, July 2012, 3(3), 102-117.

So, H., & Bush, T. A. (2008).  Student perceptions of collaborative learning, social
presence and satisfaction in a blended learning environment: Relationships and critical factors. Computers & Education, 51, 318-336.

Stacey, E. & Wiesenberg, F. (2007).  A study of face-to-face and online teaching
philosophies in Canada and Australia.  Journal of Distance Education, 22(1), 19-40.

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