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"Deep in the Hearts of Learners:  Insights into the Nature of Online Community" icon

Deep in the Hearts of Learners: Insights into the Nature of Online Community

Online learning has opened avenues for alternative modes of study by providing increased accessibility to previously disenfranchised learners. This study explored the experiences of online learners through their stories of participation and through their decisions to participate in online learning activities. To hear how these decisions related to their sense of community, they were asked: What types of relationships did you establish with your learning groups? How did you feel about your presence in this type of learning environment, and how did you contribute or respond to the conditions that shaped it? What shaped the development of your online community? The resultant data provided insight into learning communities that builds on data from recent studies (Curtis & Lawson, 2001; Vrasidas & McIsaac, 2000). The findings of the study contribute to related understandings of what learners do in situations that require their interaction with and participation in online learning activities.

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