ON DEMAND: Making Large Classes Feel Small with Learning Communities
In connection with my presentation for the Showcase Session on "Creating Community and a Sense of Belonging in Your Course," this On Demand presentation will be discuss using learning communities in large classes – especially online asynchronous classes - to foster a sense of community and connection. This is a strategy I used this year when I combined my 4 sections of English 302 into one large Blackboard shell. I created learning communities within the larger class to give students the small-class experience. Doing so improved discussion board participation and peer review, as group members demonstrated a higher level of investment and engagement. Students also reported feeling more supported in navigating the course and their assignments. This On Demand presentation will include strategies for forming groups (deciding on size, characteristics for group formation, logistics of group formation), how to use the groups during the semester, and a little bit of the feedback from students on how being a part of a learning community impacted their experience of the course.
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