Online Icebreakers - Creating Community for Adult LearnersCommunity building in online learning environments may be one of the most difficult aspects for adult learners. While it is possible to use discussion boards to enable interaction between learners, Oosterhof, Conrad, and Ely (2008) state that this is not the same as community building. The use of icebreakers are meant to initiate conversation and facilitate the building of community.
Looking back on your experiences as an adult learner in an online program, have you established any relationships with your classmates outside of the course environment?
Consider your experiences on a more personal level. Do you feel like you have been part of a learning community or have you felt isolated? Would the use of ice breakers and the opportunity for informal conversation have helped eliminate feelings of isolation?
By Tuesday: Share your experiences with icebreakers that you feel were either successful or unsuccesful. For this discussion, suggest an activity that may help adult learners to build community in an online environment. Support your activity design using the recommended resources listed below. Use at least one additional resource.
By Sunday: Respond to at least two of your peers’ discussions. In your response, discuss how you would respond to the activity they suggest. Do you think that you would be inspired to continue a discussion with your peers based on this activity? Why or why not?
Instructions and Requirements
- For this discussion post, please use proper APA formatting as described by the University's website.
- Use and properly cite, the recommend resources plus at least one other resource.
- Ensure your posts are free of spelling and other errors.
- Initial posts should demonstrate that you have synthesized the resources and your personal experiences for clear and concise expression.
- The initial posting must be submitted by Tuesday at 11:59 PM PST.
- Responses should have depth and encourage continued discussion with the original poster and others. Avoid "me, too!" and "I agree!" type posts.
- Respond to at least two of your peers by Sunday at 11:59 PM PST.
For further details on grading, please refer to the rubric .
Resources indicated with (link) are available via Walden University Library or Google Scholar. The link is provided, but you must be able to sign in to the Walden University Library to access these resources.
Chlup, D., & Collins, T. (2010). Breaking the ice: Using ice-breakers and re- energizers with adult learners. Adult Learning, 34-39. (link)
Horton, W. (2006). Chapter 9: Design for the virtual classroom. In E-Learning by Design (pp. 463-471). San Francisco: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (link)
Oosterhof, A., Conrad, R.-M., & Ely, D. P. (2008). Assessing learners online. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc. (text)
Palloff, R., & Pratt, K. (2007). Chapter 8: Promoting Collaborative Learning. In Building online communities: Effective strategies for the virtual classroom (pp. 157-184). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. (link)
Swan, K. (2002). Building learning communities in online courses: The importance of interaction. Education, Communication & Information, 2(1), 23 - 49. (link)