Build it and they may not come, says e-community expert

January 6, 2008

A scholar with Queensland University of Technology's Centre for Learning Innovation says that not all online communities are effective.  Lively communication between peers is vital to building a sense of community among users.  Look for "isolated forum contributions" (posts that do not receive responses) in your online communities, as these can frustrate and alienate contributors.  While not all students may want to be in an e-community, engaging them in this way has still been shown to yield higher student satisfaction.  Dr. Dawson warns against sitting on one's laurels if e-community activity jumps at the start of term, and instead recommends a strategy to keep students engaged through the busy midterm and final exam seasons.