Despite the growth of online education many online programmes are considered to be content centred and focused on individual work (Lehman and Conceição, 2014). This focus disregards the social and collective aspects of education and ultimate limits the potential of online higher education. Although digital technologies help to open access to higher education we optimise student learning by creating an interconnected class of students, engaged with other. The development of vibrant online learning spaces requires both students and lecturers to develop skills and behaviours which go beyond the purely technical domain. How students interact and engage with each other and build a sense of connection despite their dispersed realities and how lecturers promote student interaction and engagement without the backstop of a shared physical space are explored in this project. The project uses primary research with experienced online lecturers and graduates in Trinity College Dublin to identify the behaviours that build vibrant online learning spaces and foster online student interaction and engagement. The project will produce open access online learning resources for students and lecturers for use as part of induction and professional development programmes.
Lehman, R. M. & Conceição, S. C. O., (2014) Motivating and Retaining Online Students: Research-Based Strategies That Work. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Project Review (November 2018)