Just how a learning management system creates a sense of community for its users is complex. Alfred Ravoi writes of four elements needed for a classroom of students, whether physical or virtual, to become a community. They are spirit, trust, interaction, and common expectations.
First, spirit means the feeling of cohesiveness that accompanies identifying oneself as a community member. Through repeated online interactions using the learning management system, members are likely to form a bond. Second, trust refers to the feeling that community members are trustworthy, and to the users’ willingness to rely on other members. Group projects and problem-solving assignments help to establish an important sense of trust. Third, interaction refers to users’ communication with each other, using the learning management system. Finally, common expectations bind members to common goals–the most fundamental, of course, being the goal of significant learning.
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