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Pedagogical Strategies for Building Community in Distance Education Courses

Pedagogical Strategies for Building Community in Distance Education Courses

Community building in online distance education is important to a successful learning experience because it alleviates feelings of isolation for both students and faculty members. Ruth E. Brown describes the process by which students become part of an online distance education community, identifying three stages: "making friends," "community conferment," and the development of "camaraderie" (Brown, 2001). The purpose of this article is to present concrete, specific, and practical pedagogical strategies to implement Ruth E. Brown' 3-stage theory of community building in online distance learning courses. These strategies are based on the authors' combined 14 years of teaching distance courses in graduate level Library and Information Science (LIS) programs.

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