Ashford 5: – Week 4 – Discussion 2

Concord Consortium


  The following nine key characteristics define The Concord Consortium’s   approach to delivering quality e-Learning: 

  1. Asynchronous        collaboration. Participants don’t have to be logged on to the course        simultaneously; they work in an asynchronous environment in which        text-based, threaded discussion and collaborative problem solving form        the core learning strategy. 
  2. Explicit        schedules. Instructors of online courses that rely on collaborative        discussions schedule lessons within a specific timeframe so participants        can share similar experiences and insights. 
  3. Expert        facilitation. Online courses are led by a qualified person specifically        trained in online facilitation. 
  4. Inquiry        pedagogy. Designers create effective online courses — with many        specific elements that contribute to sound pedagogy for inquiry        learning. 
  5. Community        building. Course designers and instructors are proactive in designing        and nurturing a community culture in which participants are supportive,        honest, and willing to take intellectual risks. 
  6. Limited        enrollment. There are between 12 and 25 participants in a class to keep        collaborative learning manageable. 
  7. High-quality        materials. Course designers include the widest feasible range of media        and activities to appeal to different styles of learning. 
  8. Purposeful        virtual spaces. Online, course designers create explicit structures so        the community gets what it needs without interrupting the flow of        content-based discussions. Typically included are a “Student        Lounge,” a “Questions about Assignments,” a        “Technical Questions,” and a “Class Meeting”        discussion space for debriefing course experiences. 
  9. Ongoing        assessment. Online assessment is a continuous, ongoing process.        Instructors find evidence of achievement in participants’ daily        contributions to online discussions. They learn each student’s unique        voice and approach to solving problems through their postings. 

Although all nine characteristics are essential, community building is   especially important. Students need to feel connected and involved. How do   online educators create a sense of community in the virtual environment?

  As you begin to construct your response, please check out the following   articles for more in depth perspective on this topic: 

Be sure to respond to at least two of your peers with examples,   suggestions, and ideas to further the thinking.