Baker's Guide to Christian Online Learning

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Finding a Student's Voice in the Online Classroom

Students attending traditional college campuses have the opportunity to interact with their professors and others students daily. For some students, the logistics of attending college on campus is an impossibility due to geographic limitations, and online classes offer students a way to earn a college degree without being physically present on a college campus. Do online students miss out on the social interactions and discussions that traditional college students engage in daily? Are these discourses important for education, and how can it be incorporated into online courses? According to an article by Mariann Solberg entitled Educating the Citizen of Academia Online?, Solberg posits that online courses need to have a discursive space for social interactions among students and professors by using synchronous technologies in addition to asynchronous.


In this article published in the International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, Solberg supports her claim that online students need socialization with classmates and professors based upon Immanuel Kant's theories of critical thinking and knowledge acquisition. Online students tend to rely upon the knowledge base provided by the course rather than challenging the presented material or offering another interpretation of the material. When online students participated in synchronous communication such as Elluminate Live, students could express their critiques with each other and the professor, and this technology helped stimulate each student to develop his/her own voice throughout the course.

You can read more at Educating the Citizen of Academia Online?.


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