Gathering and Learning: The Potential in Online Book Groups


This term, I’ve found myself in the position to lead several online groups: my own online writing course, my own online Capstone (Social Justice in K-12 Education), an online option for the Office of Academic Innovation’s reading group dedicated to community-based learning, and an online option for a writing group for those of us who want to do more scholarly writing on community-based learning topics.  Wheew!

That said, I’m thoroughly immersed in what it means to develop online community.  This is not to say that I’m an expert, but I am definitely doing a lot of reading, practicing, and learning.  One of the models that I’ve been reading a lot about is the online book or reading group.  And although I’m about to lead a group of faculty members, I think that this model might be really fun in a course as well.  Any time we can use “real world” models in our classrooms that students might find transferable in the future, the better, I say. Here are a few readings that got my wheels turning:

While these sources are not scholarly in the traditional sense, it is wise to look to the ways people are organically interacting in everyday online spaces and to consider how these might positively impact the way we design our courses.

Take a look, and let me know what you think.  Is there anything in these models that would translate well into your online teaching spaces?



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