Monday, November 5, 2007

R685 Week 11 Reflection

Week 11, Electronic Motivation, Collaboration, and Communities of Learning/Inquiry

I AM MAD AS HELL AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE! This week was a rant, a rant by Dr. Bonk to vent frustration on the use, or lack of use, of new technological tools in education. He presented that all these things are happening and education is standing “flat footed” (that is my take). The first sentence is from the movie The Network which is based on how television is infiltrating our lives. Dr. Bonk argues one could superimpose “the tube” with “the web” and you will have today’s argument. Hmmmm interesting. My take? As I have always stated the web is a tool…

This weeks readings discuss how to or what is needed to build a “sense of community” in distance learning. After reading about online learning for the last 11 weeks this has surfaced to be the factor in both distance dropouts and the argument against distance learning. However, each of these studies show that a community can be built through text. Rovai, speaks of Spirit, Trust, Interaction, and the Common Expectation to learn. Garrison, Anderson, & Archer talk about critical inquiry and the components of; cognitive presence, social presence, and teaching presence. Kimble, Li, and Barlow key point is about social and active trust. Finally but definitely not least, Ruth Brown discussed community.

Ruth Brown had the best reading of the week as she brought in new ideas. The main idea was there is three levels of community; on-line acquaintances, community conferment, and camaraderie. What griped me was the “conferment.” Conferment was defined as “securing a community membership card” and it was obtained by participating in “a long, thoughtful, threaded discussion of importance to all.” It reminded me of the street advice I was given if I ever went to prison (if you do not know what I mean ask someone) if I was ever going to survive. That is what I thought of as I read about conferment; it is a right of passage, a way to stand out so no one doubts your abilities. I practiced this in one of my online classes this summer without knowing it. I had some success in another online class and obtained a bit of confidence on how this “online” thing worked. I read the articles and developed some long profound “off the wall” statement and pasted it in the thread. Immediate trust was built with my classmates and the instructor; keep it up with timely posts and you’re on your way to a successful online career. This is a lot easier than “getting to know” everyone online. I had never thought about until this week but, in my experience, I think it is true. Good article Dr. Brown

The tidbits are group and chat (text and voice) areas where communities can be built, I belong to both.

Alfred Rovai (2002, April). Building Sense of Community at a Distance. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, Retrieved August 21, 2007, from

Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T., & Archer, W. (2000). Critical inquiry in a text-based environment: Computer conferencing in higher education. The Internet and Higher Education, 2(2-3), 87-105. Retrieved July 5, 2007, from (also see Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T., Archer, W. and Rourke, L. (2004). Research into Online Communities of Inquiry. Retrieved March 8 , 2007, from

Ruth Brown (2001). Process of Community-Building in Distance Learning Classes. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, Volume 5, Issue 2.

Chris Kimble, Feng Li, & Alexis Barlow (2000). Effective Virtual Teams through Communities of Practice. Management Science: Theory, Method, and Practice. and (abstract)


a. Google Groups:;
b. Skype:


Curt Bonk said...

Yes, Ruth Brown's article was the best of the week. Interesting, I met a different Ruth Brown at the University of London South Bank 2 years ago. I bet many people do like I did and introduce themselves and say, "man, your communities of learning article in just great." Oops, wrong Ruth Brown! She said to me, "I am as mad as hell about people making such mistakes! And I simply am not going to take it anymore." Ok, Ruth, I promise, I promise.

Yichun's BLOG in IST, IUB said...

Definitely, Ruth Brown’s paper was the most profound of the week. No doubt, instantaneous replies play an important role on the online learning community. I haven yet had the experience to take an online course; probably I will get one on 2008 summer. After reading so many papers about online learning, I think I should better take at least one course before I graduated in order to rethink what pedagogies should be used in online learning environment from a learner’s perspective, also to prove what I learned from those readings.