# Notes: Top, E. (2011). Blogging as a social medium in undergraduate courses: Sense of community best predictor of perceived learning

Top, E. (2011). Blogging as a social medium in undergraduate courses: Sense of community best predictor of perceived learning. The Internet and Higher Education. doi:10.1016/j.iheduc.2011.02.001

# Abstract

The purpose of the study was to examine pre-service teachers’ sense of community, perception of collaborative learning, and perceived learning. Fifty pre-service teachers from two undergraduate ICT courses which incorporated blogs participated in this study. The data were obtained via three online questionnaires (Collaborative Learning scale, Sense of Community scale, and Perceived Learning scale) administered throughout Fall 2009-2010. The research questions were answered by using Pearson Product-Moment Correlation and multiple linear regressions. Results indicated that the pre-service teachers had positive feelings about the collaborative learning and perceived learning; also, they had moderate feelings related to sense of community in the classes which incorporated blogs. Additionally, to a great extent sense of community and to a much lesser extent of computer knowledge level were the predictors of explaining their learning perceptions.

# Introduction

things that can interfere with sense of community:

Indeed, while trying to build up a sense of community on the one hand, various factors might actually be weakening the process, on the other hand. Such factors may include authoritative tones of some students, demonstration of mistrust, competition among students, threat of privacy, or exclusion of some students (Rovai, 20011, 20022; Xie & Sharma, 20043 ).

# Method

They used 3 surveys to gather responses from 50 students in 2 education preservice courses in a post-secondary education setting.

data collection:

Data were collected through online surveys at the end of the courses. The following online instruments helped to collect relevant data: Collaborative Learning scale4, Sense of Community scale5, and Perceived Learning scale6.

# Discussion

Pre-service teachers’ sense of community was in significant positive correlation with pre-service teachers’ perceived learning.

so… they feel like they’re in a community, and then they feel like they learned something? correlation != causation, again. maybe they feel the sense of community because they feel like they’re learning?

Even though the pre-service teachers had positive feelings about the collaborative learning experiences during the courses, they did not rate this experience as a significant effect for their perceived learning. In collaboration activities, groups were required to complete an instructional project with five major phases and to publish these phase reports on their group blogs in this study.

wait. community and learning happens offline too? that’s unpossible!

# Conclusion

Several pre-service teacher characteristics and perceptions correlated with their perceived learning, but, sense of community was the main predictor of explaining their learning perceptions. To improve students’ learning experiences, creating a classroom community and increasing students’ computer expertise could be the focus of instructors.

so… back to students who feel like they belong to a community say they learn something. community is important. cause, or effect?

1. Rovai, A. P. (2001). Building classroom community at a distance: A case study. Educational Technology Research and Development Journal, 49(4), 33-48. ↩︎

2. Rovai, A. P. (2002). Development of an instrument to measure classroom community. Internet and Higher Education, 5(3), 197-211. ↩︎

3. Xie, Y., & Sharma, P. (2004). Students’ lived experience of using weblogs in a class: An exploratory study. Paper presented at the Association for Educational Communications and Technology, Chicago, IL. ↩︎

4. So, H. -J., & Brush, T. A. (2008). Student perceptions of collaborative learning, social presence and satisfaction in a blended learning environment: Relationships and critical factors. Computers & Education, 51(1), 318-336. ↩︎

5. Halic, O., Lee, D., Paulus, T., & Spence, M. (2010). To blog or not to blog: Student perceptions of blog effectiveness for learning in a college-level course. Internet and Higher Education, 13(4), 206-213. ↩︎

6. Halic, O., Lee, D., Paulus, T., & Spence, M. (2010). To blog or not to blog: Student perceptions of blog effectiveness for learning in a college-level course. Internet and Higher Education, 13(4), 206-213. ↩︎