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learning. ―Most students will learn more if they are actively involved in the learning

process somehow‖ (Haley & Heise, 2008).

Building Community

What is a community? What is a classroom learning community? The definition

of classroom learning community according to Alfred Rovai (2002) is based on the

following characteristics: ―(a) the setting is the world of education; (b) the primary

purpose is learning; and (c) the community is based on a fixed organizational tenure, that

is, a set length of the course or program in which members are enrolled‖ (p. 34). A

learning community is then a group of people who share common characteristics or

beliefs and who are actively engaged in learning from each other. According to Rovai a

classroom learning community can be seen in four dimensions: spirit, trust, interaction,

commonality of expectations and goals (which means learning). Spirit is the bond that

connects student-to-student and student-to-instructor. Trust is the reliance students have

on one another and their instructor. Interaction is the active involvement from one

student to another and from student-to-instructor. Commonality of expectations and

goals is the commitment each student has toward their learning and the commitment the

instructor has for facilitating this learning (Rovai, 2002). These dimensions define a

classroom learning community.

The Importance of Community

Why would one need a classroom community? The importance of community

can be seen in all areas of life, especially in the classroom. In a face-to-face classroom,

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