Establishing a Sense of Community, Interaction, and Knowledge Exchange Among Students

Chapter

Abstract

In this chapter, we share experiences from a project at Aalborg University (AAU), in which the authors designed a course using Google+ Communities for the first semester of the Communication and Digital Media programme. The main pedagogical idea was to use Google+ Communities to foster both an academic and social sense of community among the students, through encouraging interaction and knowledge exchange. Studies show that students prefer to use Facebook for academic and social purposes. Consequently, teachers have limited insight into the academic challenges facing students, which is problematic when trying to create and support an academic community. Moreover, it is problematic that the institutional system Moodle primarily is used by the teachers to push information in the direction of the students. Thus, we wanted to design a third space that would fit in-between Facebook and Moodle, and which would allow the students to experience the benefits of participating in an online community with fellow students and teachers. The study shows that teachers are crucial in developing and maintaining the online community. Nevertheless, there was also evidence that some of the online activities encouraged students to interact and exchange knowledge which fostered a sense of community.

Keywords

Problem based learning Community Knowledge exchange Social media Networked learning 

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Copyright information

© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Communication & PsychologyAalborg UniversityAalborgDenmark
  2. 2.Elearning lab – Center for user driven innovation, learning and designAalborg UniversityAalborgDenmark

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