Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Virtual student unions provide communities for online learners - Kurt Eisele-Dyrli, University Business

Fulfilling a connection need: Troy University’s Trojan Cafe (left) has had more than 19,000 users in the past year, and Northern Virginia Community College’s virtual student union (right), still in expansion mode, has had about 500 users so far. For all the advantages of online learning—flexibility, personalization and affordability among them—there can be downsides for some students. Traditional, on-campus students can take advantage of a wide variety of social and extracurricular opportunities, but online students may feel isolated and disconnected from their peers and from their college or university—and risk losing the engagement so crucial to student success. Linked below are reports from three higher ed institutions in various stages of addressing these issues via a virtual student union. http://www.universitybusiness.com/article/keeping-remote-college-students-connected

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