COIL is proud to support the We Are! Building Identity, Participation and Connectivity within World Campus Cohorts project through our Research Initiation Grant Program.
Interest and participation in online education have exploded in recent years, at least partly due to the growing availability of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) on a broad range of topics. However, even established online education providers struggle to offer an integrated and cohesive “student experience” for online learners, who are typically more diverse and geographically distributed than those pursuing resident education. These issues of motivation and satisfaction have important implications for learning outcomes, both in the short term (e.g., how to formulate and design for learning objectives) and over the longer term (e.g., personal or professional development). This RIG will explore the potential for interactive visualizations of student information to enhance belonging, participation and social ties among World Campus students; a particular focus will be on analyzing what might create a “cohort identity” within the population that can seed and be a source of continued connection to the larger University community. In resident education, cohorts are a natural by-product of starting a program at the same time and taking the same courses from the same instructors at approximately the same time. Can similar structural characteristics create “virtual cohort” bonds for online students?
Mary Beth Rosson
Associate Dean for Graduate and Undergraduate Studies
College of Information Sciences & Technology
332D Information Sciences & Technology Building
University Park, PA 16801