Discovering the Meaning of Community In An Online Master’s Degree Program

July 14, 2005

The purpose of this case study was to analyze the characteristics of an online learning community from the perspectives of 18 adult learners all of whom completed an online master�s degree program in instructional design and technology. This program was taught at a distance using the e-learning system. Several program characteristics supported meaningful learning including institutional cooperation, students’ prior experiences with technology, positive peer and instructor interactions, constructivist approaches to teaching and learning, cognitive changes generated through text-based, asynchronous critical discourse, accessibility and reliability of web-based technologies, and perspective transformations fostered by authentic assessments.

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