Developing Learning Communities Through Blended Learning Activities


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In reflecting on your mentoring practice, have you ever encountered…

  • Students who experience difficulties adapting to the rigors of guided independent study?
  • Students who would gain from exposure to multiple view points?
  • Students who find studying on their own isolating?
  • Students who need encouragement to improve their thinking?
  • Students who need assistance staying motivated to engage with their assignments in between face-to-face meetings with you?

Are you…

  • Willing to explore finding a better way to meet these students’ needs?
  • Curious about how you might go about addressing one of these problems?
  • Wondering how technology might be used to enhance student learning?
  • Hesitant to attempt this on your own?

If you answered yes to many of these questions, you are in the right place.

We will explore the intersections between two important teaching and learning concepts that have the potential to help you find solutions to enhance your mentoring practice when working with students who are pursuing guided independent or group study. First, the cultivation of learning communities, both inside and outside the classroom, provides a way to engage students in developing collective level of deeper understanding through collaborative work. Second, blended learning, in which face-to-face class or student meetings are combined with selective online activities, offers the potential to bring the benefits of learning communities to your students who have previously worked on their own.

Course Learning Objectives

  • Demonstrate use of concepts and principles of learning communities and blended learning to guide the creation of an online learning activity to increase student interaction and deepen learning
  • Consider further exploration of similar activities to create a blended study that complements the college’s primary modes of study

Note: This is a brief professional development course designed for mentors at the college where I am employed and others who are interested in this topic.


  • Experience with teaching and learning using at least one of the regional center’s modes of study: guided independent study, study groups or residency programs.
  • Familiarity with using a web browser, accessing Internet and navigating to a web address
  • Basic keyboarding skills to contribute text to a wiki-based web site

Course Materials

Participants will be provided with a copy of R. Palloff and K. Pratt, (2005). Collaborating online: Learning together in Community. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. 112 pages. All other resources required for this course are provided as web links.

Let's Get Started

Go to Unit One.