How can an instructional designer (ID) leverage social interaction online to engage learners, increase exchange and dialogue, and get better results, without losing the purposeful focus provided by an instructor or traditional course content and structure? Many IDs are intrigued by the potential of communal experiences online, but there is a great deal of uncertainty about how to proceed. Here are a couple of cases that you may find interesting. Afterward, I offer a roadmap for producing similar results.
[...] Both Michelle and Joel have created online learning communities within their courses, using different approaches to fit the subject matter and their learning goals. For our purposes, a learning community is “a group of individuals who collaboratively engage in purposeful critical discourse and reflection to construct meaning and confirm mutual understanding.” (Garrison, 2007) As such, you base learning communities in constructivist principles. A learning community is directed toward learning in a social environment, not socializing.