Chapter 4

Benefits and Problems of Online Learning Communities

This chapter discusses the benefits of online communication for learning, and also the problems that can arise. Based on research findings and experience from practice, the chapter considers benefits such as:

  • flexibility of communication
  • opportunities for peer learning
  • engagement and motivation
  • feelings of belonging.

The chapter then goes on to discuss problems such as:

  • overload
  • low participation
  • impersonality.

The chapter ends by discussing steps teachers can take to increase the benefits and reduce the problems.

Chapter contents list:

  1. Benefits of Online Learning Communities
  2. Case Study – Blogging to Build Community Among Pre-Service Teachers
  3. Problems of Online Learning Communities
  4. Case Study – Online Discussion and Community: Barriers to Participation
  5. Increasing the Benefits and Reducing the Problems
  6. Summary
  7. Key Points for Practitioners
  8. Further Reading