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Title: Developing a learning community : exploring the impact of online activities on the building of campus-based communities
Author: Axe, Josephine
ISNI:       0000 0004 2718 5922
Awarding Body: University of Bradford
Current Institution: University of Bradford
Date of Award: 2009
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Taking an action research approach, this study explores the experiences of three intakes of undergraduate students who worked in a cohort-based learning environment where team work and classroom participation was expected. This educational setting required students from diverse backgrounds to work closely together on campus during the intense one-year program. To facilitate in the development of a face-to-face learning community, where individual differences could be celebrated and problems could be solved in an open, trusting environment, an online bridging course was developed. Aimed at decreasing the incidence of minority group marginalization and reduce feelings of isolation, the bridging course provided activities directed towards encouraging students to begin to develop an inclusive learning community prior to their arrival on campus. Exploring how online transitional activities had contributed to the development of a face-to-face learning community, as well as perceived disadvantages to that model, key stakeholders' perceptions were obtained through focus groups, interviews, and surveys. Findings include: (a) an enhanced understanding of the ways in which an online course can be used to aid in the development of a learning community for oncampus students; (b) a heightened awareness of challenges faced by those working in a learning community; (c) a systematic approach to the development of learning communities. This research suggests that an online bridging course can be an effective way for on-campus students to start developing a learning community.
Supervisor: Stewart, Will. ; McConnell, David. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Learning communities ; Blended learning ; Online learning ; Action research ; Orientation ; Diversity ; Education ; Educational environment