Grand Canyon University strives to support student learning by creating an online community. A “community” feeling inside an online course can help me as well as other students stay motivated. Online classrooms have the same characteristics as a traditional classroom; however, the class instructors direct course materials through a Grand Canyon University online portal. The course instructor presents topic-based questions to the students in the classroom forum that allow collaboration of student and instructor thoughts, debates, and experiences.
The online interaction between classmates as well as instructor creates a virtual community where classmates and instructor can rely on each other while helping each other to stay motivated. The online classroom relies on collaboration between students and instructor in order to promote successful learning experiences. Collaboration in an online classroom consists of student responses to the instructor’s questions. As students post their individual thoughts, other students respond to them adding their own perspectives, experiences, and knowledge.
Once the conversations volley back and forth thru ought the course’s main forum true collaboration begins. According to the text University Success E2, “The keys to avoiding isolation are communication, collaboration, and networking” (Grand Canyon University, 2012). It is evident that collaboration in both an online and a traditional classroom is dependent on instruction, participation, as well as feedback and it is most effective when students participate several times a day.
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It is imperative that students are aware that they are responsible for their own collaboration by participating in interactions with other classmates and the instructor through the class wall, individual forum, e-mail, or chat rooms. A major advantage that comes from effective collaboration is the skills that students gain from being actively involved in the classroom that is necessary for almost every career. My future career as a teacher depends on effective collaboration among my peers and me as it ensures professional development and school improvements.
Some students use collaboration to network beyond the classroom. For instance, networking with family, friends, coworkers, Twitter, Facebook, or other discussion forums opens up portals to further collaboration with non-GCU students. Further collaboration expands the students’ minds as well as offers more information or perspectives. Furthermore, networking is beneficial to professionals in any career field because it expands professional knowledge, keeps professionals abreast of new business trends, offers career and personal opportunities, as well as provides business leads.
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