Friday, July 22, 2011

The University-feel when studying online

Online study lacks the community-feeling one might experience in tutorials or group study sessions. Efforts to replicate that through discussion forums and group assignments are unlikely to completely succeed until technologies get a whole lot smoother for more people. Even when they do (get smoother) the asynchronous advantage of online study can still lack the belonging feeling of synchronous interaction.

So, today while I learned from something Sheila Webber was sharing, I clicked over to a view of Sheffield University's Information Commons. The images sent me on a tangent of wondering whether a background image of a University space or group scene would enhance feelings of belonging and participation when in a forum screen?

Perhaps a warmer image from Wake Forest University:

Or to emphasise the study feel too perhaps a lecture theatre?

Hm, I'd like to lay a forum screen over such images to give an idea of what I'm thinking, but it would take too much time to desensitise personal details when I should be studying. If someone else gets what I mean and has the time to sketch something up, could you link it in comments?

In some software (Interact?) there is a separate issue of dissociation presented by separation of study discussion forum from the LMS unit module, but that is enough complaining for now.

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