Evolutionary Communities of Learning: Designing Professional Academic Communities of Learning through Interactivity, Responsiveness, and Flexibility while Focusing upon Professional Identity and Perspective

By Caroline M. Crawford, Terri Edwards Bubb and Marion Smith.

Published by The Design Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Distance learning has become a vital consideration within today’s instructional realm, no matter whether focused upon academia, professional continuing development, or business and industry training opportunities. Now that the design and development of online learning environments has been the primary focus for well over the past decade, it is finally a realization that the instructional support that occurs within the online learning environment is also of vital importance. For this reason, a growing area of focus within academia is how to design professional academic communities of learning; specifically, designing these online communities through the vital aspects of interactivity, appropriate responsiveness by the instructor and the learners, and the potentials related to flexibility of learning opportunities so as to meet the needs of the learners. Further, an “unwritten” aspect of importance within these online communities of learning must also focus upon the professional identity of the instructor and of the learner, as well as the introduction and building of differing perspectives as relates to the course knowledge and information.

Keywords: Online Learning Environment, Distance Education, Course Design, Cognitive Scaffolding, Community of Learning, Learning Community, Interactivity, Responsiveness, Flexibility, Professional Identity, Perspective, Instructional Competence, Virtual Learning Expectations, Instruction, Instructional Design, Instructional Expectations, Learning, Competence, Online Learning, Learning, Virtual Learning Environments, Teaching

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp.23-44. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.031MB).

Dr. Caroline M. Crawford

Associate Professor, Instructional Technology, University of Houston-Clear Lake, Houston, Texas, USA

Caroline M. Crawford, Ed.D., is an Associate Professor of Instructional Technology at the University of Houston-Clear Lake in Houston, Texas, USA. At this point in Dr. Crawford's professional career, her main areas of interest focus upon communities of learning and the appropriate and successful integration of technologies into the learning environment.

Dr. Terri Edwards Bubb

Adjunct Instructor, School of Education, University of Houston-Clear Lake, Houston, Texas, USA

Terri Edwards Bubb, Ed.D., earned her degree in Curriculum and Instruction with an Instructional Technology specialization. She is currently an Adjunct Instructor of Instructional Technology at the University of Houston-Clear Lake in Houston, Texas, USA. Her research area of focus is upon online distance learning opportunities, with a current primary interest in successful online communities of learning.

Dr. Marion Smith

Associate Professor, College of Business, Texas Southern University, Houston, Texas, USA

Marion S. Smith earned her doctorate in business from the University of Houston. She obtained her MBA and undergraduate degree in mathematics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Dr. Smith is an Associate Professor of Management Science at Texas Southern University. Her areas of research interests are in evaluation and distance learning.


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