Towards a conceptual model of community development

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Research and Development in Higher Education: Enhancing Higher Education, Theory and Scholarship Vol. 30

July, 2007, 651 pages
Published by
Geoffrey Crisp & Margaret Hicks
0 908557 72 8

The concept of community has received increasing interest within the education literature as a strategy for responding to the demands associated with education consumerism and the student learning experience. However, the diversity of definitions and understandings associated with the concept has resulted in the adoption of multiple methods for evaluation. This paper proposes a model of community as a commencement point for developing a shared understanding of the factors that impact on student psychological sense of community. The model of community proposed is founded on community theory combined with research from a two year large scale mixed-methodological study. The conceptual model has direct practical applications for university staff in terms of monitoring and assessing strategies designed to foster community and for understanding the ebb and flow of student sense of community within the higher education environment.

Keywords: conceptual model, sense of community, online learning

Towards a conceptual model of community development

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Dawson, S.