Sense of community in on-line, face-to-face, and blended learning contexts

Kaur, Jasleen (2016) Sense of community in on-line, face-to-face, and blended learning contexts. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Advances in educational technology leading to the growth of on-line and blended learning contexts as valid alternatives to traditional face-to-face classrooms, as well as recognition that social interactions among learners play a key role in the learning process, has led to an evolution of teaching approaches from direct instruction to facilitated learning. To choose the most appropriate pedagogical approach in the most suitable learning modality, educators need to know which approaches work effectively with the students and why. This mixed-methods research study compared sense of community in on-line, face-to-face and blended learning contexts. Twelve participants, four from each learning context, enrolled in a trades-related training program at a polytechnic reported their sense of community by completing the Classroom Community Scale (CCS) survey. Three participants, one from each learning context, shared their experiences in an interview about how each learning context contributed to their sense of community within the context in which they studied. Likely due to small sample size, survey results showed no statistically significant differences in sense of community between groups. The interviews showed that regular physical contact among students, synchronous discussions, instructor presence, and student-centered pedagogical approaches promote the establishment of sense of community.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 12634
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 63-78).
Keywords: sense of community, learning contexts, CCS, on-line learning, blended learning, instructor presence
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: December 2016
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Educational sociology; Classroom environment; Blended learning; Internet in education

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