Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Building Community in a Distance Learning Course


Cameron, B., Kostelecky, K., Morgan, K., and Williams, K. 2009. Group projects: Student perceptions of the relationship between social tasks and a sense of community in online group work. The American journal of distance education, 23 (1), 20-33.

Palloff, R., and Pratt, K. (2005). Collaborating online: Learning together in community. San Francisco: John Wiley & Son Inc.

Palloff, R., and Pratt, K. (2007). Building online learning communities. San Francisco: John Wiley & Sons Inc.

Peck, M. (1987). The different drum: Community making and peace. New York: Simon and Schuster.

Powell, J., and Lines, J. (2010). Making learning personal: Recommendations for classroom practice. About Campus, May-June, 19-25.

Ritter, C., Polnick, B., Fink, R., and Oescher, J. (2010). Classroom learning communities in educational leadership: a comparison study of three options. Internet and higher education, 13, 96-100.

Steelcase WorkSpace Futures. (2010). How the workplace can improve collaboration: Converging spatial, social and informational trends are creating demanding workspaces that support new patterns of collaboration. White Paper, June, 1-7.


  1. Jen,

    I especially liked the content, organization of material, and your interviewing skills.

    I am not sure about some of the text as it was a a bit blurry and illegible, but I got the gist.

    This part of the video was very successful; your professional devotion to details, multimedia expertise and the smooth transition of topics.

    You might be interested in these resources (seems you have several noteworthy references.

    While watching your video, I wondered about how you were able to set up all the interviews and how much original you had to shoot to end up with quite good video.

    I have seen others be succeed with video creation when they put the time and expertise into this project such as you did. You are my new heroine.

    Best of luck with the PhD.
    David Miller

  2. Jen,

    I really enjoyed chatting with you last night! I believe your video is nicely crafted and interesting. I like how you decided to use student and teacher interviews in order to tell the story of your research. I know we discussed that the text was too blurry to be read. I think an easy way to fix this would be to have the text as a slide, then transition to the interview, rather than have the text overwrite the video.

    Great work with your topic and I look forward to seeing you in future classes!

  3. David and Stephanie, thank you for your feedback. I hope to find time in the near future to go back and improve the quality of the video in hopes of leaving the text more readable. It was a lot of planning and my original video (cut as much as I had planned) was double the length. It took a great deal of time to cut the material without the loss of the essence of the learning it offered.

  4. Hi Jen,

    Love the interview style. It seems very genuine. The content was great as well with the different teachers and learners. Love the refernce list at the end.

    Like everyone says, it is hard to read. Frankly, I would take them right out. It is difficult to read and listen to two different things anyways because the text does not match the audio. I would say it may be a little long too.

    Other than that, nice work. I love your blog set-up too. Simply fabulous. Good Luck.


  5. Like you, I used the interview approach. I think that interviews are very personal, and give firsthand information about the topic and the participants views of the topic. I was glad to see that you interviewed both students and teachers for your video.

    The only critique that I have is that your text is blurry/hard to read. And I understand Tim's point... If the text is different from what the participant is saying, it's hard to pay attention to the interview and read the text at the same time; so perhaps that may be overkill. Your reference list is pretty cool.

    As I've asked everyone else, what software/programs did you use to create your video? Overall, I think you've done an excellent job!

  6. Jen,

    I especially liked how you filmed and edited interviews to get students’ and instructors’ views on collaboration and community in a learning experience. You seemed to be successful in linking your research smoothly to the parts of your presentation. While watching your video, I wondered if you could include more video or audio clips of you explaining the topic and the text you included. I have seen others succeed with video creation when the text is separate from the video. It was sometimes difficult to read the text in front of the video clips. Overall, great work!

    Tiffany Harrell

  7. Thank you, everyone, for your feedback. I did use Movie Maker to produce my video. I believe the words, if readable, added a great deal to the presentation. They gave a better understanding of how everything connects to the research I conducted. When I went back to convert the movie for better quality, I found that I had relocated my video clip folder and those infamous red x's appeared on the project. I hope to try again soon.
    Again, it's been a pleasure working with everyone through this course. I look forward to reviewing your projects as well.

  8. Hi Jennifer,
    I liked your presentation especially the technical skills shown in the video + interviews. What editing program have you used? You have nicely superimposed the text on the video. Shorter text, probably, would have increased readability.

  9. Thank you, Anwar. I used Movie Maker, as I find it conducive to quality presentations. Looking forward to checking yours out.

  10. Hi Jen
    I especially liked the way you interviewed students to discuss working in a communities.
    While watching your video, I also wondered about the text. The words were very light and made it difficult to read. I had the same problems with my video. :)
    I see you used Windows Movie Maker as well and I had the same problem with my images turning into red x's. Do you know what caused this to happen? Some of my pictures turned into a red x but I was still able to see them during the previews.

  11. The red x's arrive when the path to the original video or image no longer exists. I know that I moved the folder containing the footage into another folder. I am not sure why you could still preview them. It is my biggest frustration with Movie Maker. Though, I love it when it works smoothly... when it doesn't I know it's me!
    Thank you for the comment.

  12. Hi Jen,

    I like the introduction that was done that participants gave their opinion of learning community. The brief distinction of the traditional learning community and the practical and visual literal setting was a background for your story board development. The “lab coat” teacher gave a very experiential interview of the pros and cons of the community setting among the K-12. Student population. The level of maturity for independent learning outcome for the younger learners may need strict supervision as this would be in preparation for future trends in learning.
    Some things that I thought would be for good integration would be graphics of the technology tools that are in use along with a web diagram of linking students from all sectors of the society or country or globe. Also, I believe a brief integration of a clip with a minimum of two online learners collaborating would be great for a topical discussion. While the frank discussion of the “lab coat” teacher was great one has to be keenly involved to be focused on his thoughts, periodical evaluation on your perspective would be great to break the monotonous setting of his presentation. We have to be careful that even in “our” presentation the characters do not steal the show.
    I particularly liked the diverse views displayed in your presentation. And, I agree with most of what is said. It is sometimes challenging to get honesty when one is in the limelight of a camera. A great ending would have been a brief summary of your thoughts and what you think. The white elephant is still in my mind. In general you might consider the variety of resources that enhances video presentation, and timing. For me it was intellectual quenching as I enjoy the honesty and radical views that is in the learning community. You have a great setting for your presentation and I says thumbs up for you diligent performance!

  13. Thank you for the constructive feedback, Cecil!

  14. Great presentation! I loved your use of text over the still images. A very intriguing section of your video was the student's perceptions of collaboration and community in online settings. I think that was a smart thing to do because many times we do not include the opinions of the students.