Building Community in the Asynchronous Environment; Perspectives across the Campus
Technology and circumstances have opened doors to online education, and there are many reasons why students opt for online education. While online education offers the comfort of convenience, it also brings in several concerns of feeling alone, sitting in front of a device, and attempting to complete coursework with little support synchronously. Throughout this interactive session, you will have the opportunity to hear from different perspectives on how we have brought the classroom to the living room by enhancing our online offerings while building a sense of community.
As educators and dedicated supporters of providing a holistic learning environment to students, it is important to look at the changing modalities of education, to better serve our students. While the learning management systems, online courses, and tutoring platforms are easily accessible, there is a limitation to the interaction and the feeling of being a part of a classroom with peers or a cohort.
The online learning environment had come a long way since Nova Southeastern created its first online classroom in 1985, or even when the University of Phoenix began the first accredited university in 1989. Since then, it has been the same online asynchronous course, consisting of readings, discussion posts, and an assessment per module. Unfortunately, in many instances, these types of online learning environments still exist today.
Unfortunately, it took a pandemic for educators to notice that students felt alone and isolated while participating in these courses. As with many other institutions, to mitigate this feeling of isolation, conversations across campus began to find a resolution to enhance the engagement and sense of community throughout the asynchronous classroom.