Online Education: How Communities Help The Online Learner

We already know about websites useful to online education, and their ability to provide an informal learning community to an online learner. This has become the norm for the Internet of today, the creation of multiple connections between individuals in ways that is slowly becoming even more connected. About two decades ago, no one could have envisioned that we’d be this connected to each other via the dozens of mobile gadgets, phones, netbooks, laptops, and personal technology that we currently employ. With this, it makes sense that the online learner should capitalize on the communities that these same technologies led to create.

Online communities help spread ideas

Online communities provide a medium for information exchange, allowing individuals the opportunity to freely share and get useful information with just the click of a mouse. Led by the most passionate of the lot, online communities provide a safe haven for everyone, from the expert to the newest of the bunch. If you’re an online degree in psychology, then a good community could help you start out, and point you to different leads. In effect, it gives you a new dimension to your online learning experience, one that in many ways is different from just tackling learning alone. Let us just be clear about this: though online learning trains students to be efficient self-learners, one cannot really under-emphasize the benefits of participating in groups.

Online communities encourage open-mindedness

Membership in the informal learning communities also allow learners to freely experiment and try out ideas related to their online education. Since the medium is a lot more flexible than the traditional classroom, the student is free to interact with individuals, all with varying opinions, credentials, and experience. This kind of interaction is what’s best applicable, for learning happens as a consequence of weighing different ideas against each other, determining differences, and understanding similarities. The Web is an open debate medium, and everyone is free to participate.

Online communities are havens for its members

Online groups also provide a practical norm to the online student, initiating him to what’s accepted and what’s not. Now we could debate on how this actually benefits the student, but we can’t deny the fact that an online education requires that an individual perform according to specific norms. Just like any other brick-and-mortar educational institution, online learning also hones student’s ability to interact in a new medium. Quite logical, for how could an online student talk to other people if he doesn’t know how to converse? As it is, it’s one of the best ways to make the most out of your online education.

Online communities motivate the online learner

Lastly, online communities provide motivation to the online student. Though the interactions are done electronically, it is no less as real as done in real life. As we may have known by now, participating in online groups is not just about getting information but about forging relationships with people. This is an important thing to remember, because people think that studying online is easy, one of the top misunderstandings about online education. Online learners need some type of motivation in their experience, and online communities provide this kind of support. It’s not just about providing the solutions to academic problems, it’s also about nourishing the student’s need for some form of humanity in their midst.

One Response to “Online Education: How Communities Help The Online Learner”

  1. […] thing, and everyone should do their part and contribute to the conversation. Remember that good communities help the online learner. Emphasize a point or two that another person is making, or try to give your perspective on the […]

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