ERIC Number: ED437540
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
Learning Online: Extending the Meaning of Community. A Review of Three Programs from the Southeastern United States.
Russell, Mary; Ginsburg, Lynda
This report describes the general features of "online learning communities," community organizations that have constructed learning delivery systems that effectively combine elements of the distance learning and traditional models of instruction. It discusses the online learning community framework and explains the four features of these communities: learning environment, vision of adult learning and development, instructional model, and social construct. Three communities are highlighted that demonstrate general features of online learning communities and represent different stages of the process of online community building: "SeniorNet" is well established online, "Neighborhood Networks" is exploring connections beyond its initial purpose of providing training for employment, and "Bridging the Gap of Isolation/Powering Up" is at the beginning of using technology to create an online community for rural communities it serves. Each case study focuses on two major elements most important to adult education: effectiveness of each community in mediating between its members and technology to provide access to tools for learning and capability of each community to provide learning experiences that are transformative, rewarding, accommodating of learning differences, and inclusive of life experiences. The report concludes that early indications suggest the movement's goals and outcomes are complementary to those of adult education in general and adult literacy in particular. (Contains 17 references) (YLB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Center for Adult Literacy, Philadelphia, PA.; SouthEast and Islands Regional Technology in Education Consortium, Greensboro, NC.