Learning Community & Interaction

In a traditional classroom, students interact with each other in the same physical classroom space. This frequent face-to-face contact helps students build friendships and create learning groups. However, an online/hybrid learning environment does not provide such a sense of community unless the instructor provides community building opportunities, such as group assignments, discussion forums, and other social activities. Below you will find several research-based frameworks to inform your thinking about how to enhance community and interaction in your online/hybrid courses.

Community of Inquiry

According to Rourke, Anderson, Garrison, and Archer (2001), a community of inquiry is comprised of three overlapping key elements: Cognitive presence, Social presence, and Teaching presence. Rourke, Anderson, Garrison, & Archer (2001)

Deep and meaningful learning is generated through the interaction of these three core elements within a community of inquiry. Learn more about how to ensure your online and hybrid courses support a community of inquiry.

Community of inquiry model” by MatburyOwn work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
Online Interaction

Developing opportunities for online interaction is essential for a successful online/hybrid course. Students are greatly dependent on the facilitation of offering opportunities for interaction. Moore (1989) identified three types of interactions that are important for learning and engagement, including learner-content, learner-instructor, and learner-learner. Learn more about how to ensure your online and hybrid courses are highly interactive learning environments. Moore (1989)

Additional Resources Related to Online Community and Interaction:

  • CATME SMARTER Teamwork
    Comprehensive Assessment of Team Member Effectiveness (CATME) SMARTER Teamwork is a system of secure, web-based tools that enable instructors to implement best practices in managing student teams.  The tools and training are supported by the literature on teamwork and training, along with independent empirical research.

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