Shepherd & Bollinger

Online Graduate Student Perceptions of Program Community

Craig E. Shepherd, University of Memphis
Doris U. Bolliger, Old Dominion University


Facilitating an online course in today’s student population requires an educator to be innovative and creative and to have an impactful online presence. In the current online learning environment (also known as e-learning), keeping students’ thoughtfully engaged and motivated while dispensing the required course content necessitates faculty enabling a safe, nonjudgmental environment whereby views, perspectives, and personal and professional experiences are encouraged. The educator must exhibit an educator-facilitated active, student-centered learning process, whereby students are held accountable for their active participation and self-directed learning while balancing a facilitator role to further enhance the learning process. This article explores one educator’s reflective practice process that has been developed over numerous years as a very early adopter of online education. It will explore the organizational aspect of teaching-facilitating a dynamic robust online course.

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