Encouraging social presence and a sense of community in a virtual residential school

  • Robinson K
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Abstract

This study describes the theoretical rationale underpinning the design and implementation of a career-related activity as an optional element of a virtual residential school. The activity comprised an interview with a practising chartered psychologist recorded as an MP3 audio file, which was subsequently supported by an asynchronous discussion held in a dedicated online forum. The impact of the activity was assessed, based on the analysis of activity logs and the student response to a post-course survey, together with the ethnographic data from the discussion forum. The design of the activity and its value for enriching the student experience and encouraging social presence and a sense of community is discussed and shows that there were benefits from this approach.

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Authors

  • Kathleen Robinson

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