Collaborative Learning Communities


Good discussions do not just happen, but are designed and crafted to provoke deep thought and continual improvement of ideas and opinions (Horton, 2006). As participation, interaction and social presence are commonly seen as key factors for achieving collaboration, shared goals, whether face-to-face or in an online environment, is understood to be an important element toward creating a community (Zhao, Sullivan & Mellenius, 2014). Through collaboration and by helping each other to learn, students contribute to each other’s skill base and knowledge and thereby shape a learning community (Witney & Smallbone, 2011).

As an online facilitator designing a course, what would be some strategies you would consider in designing an ideal learning community?


Horton, W. (2006).  E-Learning by Design, Designing for the Virtual Classroom. Copyright 2006 John Wiley & Sons Inc. Used with permission from John Wiley & Sons Inc. via the Copyright Clearance Center.

Witney, D. & Smallbone, T. (2011). Wiki work: Can using wikis enhance student collaboration for group assignment tasks? Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 48(1), 101-110. Retrieved from the Walden Library.

Zhao, K, Sullivan, K., & Mellenius, I. (2014). Participation, interaction and social presence: An exploratory study of collaboration in online peer review groups. British Journal of Educational Technology, 45(5), 807-819. Retrieved from the Walden Library.