No prior experience necessary: Reflecting on the learning experiences offered by student-created online discussions
Abstract: This study offers a novel pedagogical approach for online discussions, as it presents reflections on a case where online students were permitted to create and facilitate online discussions. These reflections come from four graduate students, between the ages of 20-55, enrolled in an online Masters' degree at a research university in the United States. These reflections demonstrate how the students experienced a shift in their role within the course, as they negotiated how to position themselves as leaders and learners, and ultimately developed a greater sense of ownership towards the course. In turn, their authorship altered the learning and teaching praxis within the course, as they brought their own experiences, priorities, and insights to bear on the design process, and became responsible for their own and their peers' success. Thus, they show online learning may be designed to allow for more authentic collaboration and connectedness within the digital environment. This proposal is geared toward instructors, learners, and designers wanting to explore the deep experiential value of collaborative online learning, as well as those interested in emerging learning technology implementation at the graduate level. Administrators will find valuable information on creating online degrees to target students in this learner group.
Presider: Mayumi Hori, Chuo University