The key point that has struck me as I have worked through course content so far is how important it is to make an online learning environment inviting, interesting, and stimulating. I have often observed responses of frustration and limited enthusiasm from students in courses when undertaking courses that have an online component. As I have been working through the paper, I have reflected on the thought that if this is the case, then that problem may lie largely with the way in which learning is being facilitated, not with the learners themselves.
Online facilitators have a responsibility to ensure that learning is facilitated in an enjoyable, interesting, and even highly gripping way! Nancy White’s words in the CoP series stuck me: “You are designing a “place” where people will learn together . . . “What attracts people to a place? What makes it enjoyable – yes ENJOYABLE! You are designing a place where people need to show up.” I couldn’t agree more. People aren’t normally attracted to physical spaces that we can’t find our way around, have mess everywhere, or things that we could trip over as we find our way through in the dark! So when it comes to online environments, we need to design places that people want to come to.