What Makes For a Good Online Community?

If you have been following my posts this summer (summing up here), then you know one of the issues I am currently investigating is how to translate the Catholic approach to higher education from a face-to-face context to an online context.  For us at Dominican University, that means a continued focus on our relationship-centered approach to teaching.

While Dominican University and other higher education institutions seek to increase their online offerings, they must not forget the necessity to develop and maintain strong relationships with the students in such courses and programs. As a recent study from Gallup-Purdue suggests, students who have strong relationships with their professors and their institution may be more likely to succeed outside of college. Dominican University prides itself as being able to provide a relationship-centered approach to teaching and learning, and this approach must be maintained in an online context.

As part of this investigation, I want to hear from all of you on what makes for a good online community. How do your relationships with others develop in such a community? What leads you to know that this is good experience and not a bad one?

Please take this poll, selecting all of the answers that apply to your experience, and feel free to comment below to expand upon your ideas or add new ones I haven’t considered.

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