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ERIC Number: ED556896
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 200
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3038-7586-1
Teacher and Learner Perceptions of Community in Online Learning Environments
Bergstresser, Elaine R.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Widener University
This study explored teacher and learner perceptions of community within a fully online graduate education course that is part of the virtual campus of a small, private university in the northeastern United States. Numerous studies have indicated that strong perceptions of community within online learning environments are associated with reduced feelings of student isolation, greater student satisfaction, and increased learning (Anderson & Garrison, 1995; Mclnnemey & Roberts, 2004; Rovai, 2002b). A case study approach was used to investigate the sense of community as it was experienced by students and their instructor within this specific online environment. During the course of the semester in which the study took place, an unexpected change in instructor occurred. This event--and how it impacted student perceptions of community--was integrated into the data analysis and resulting interpretations. Using Rovai's Classroom Community Scale (CCS), student perceptions of community within the course were quantified and documented through discussion board posts and semistructured postcourse interviews. An additional interview with the course instructor was conducted to examine perceptions of community through the lens of the course facilitator who completed the semester with the students. As perceptions of community emerged through the words and reflections of students and their instructor, so did the complexity of the phenomenon and the intricately intertwined and multifaceted components of interaction, presence, and design that define an online community. Analysis and interpretation of the data collected in this study revealed the needs of learners in this online environment and illuminated the specific. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A