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距离教育家所面临的挑战是将这些因素组合为一个成功的学习环境和不同的建构主义和成人教育学问题需要考虑。Palloff和普拉特(2007)表明,使用在线创建成功的远程教育方法将涉及转移我们的最佳实践从教室到一个新的领域,“在这个新的领域,然而,实践不可能看起来完全相同”(六年级)。在线媒介要求DL教育者思考不同,以利用其学习提高功能和教师/ andragogic潜力。它带来的挑战,提出了机会,创建一个社区可以产生社会建构主义学习的感觉。在教育、社区意识包括学习社区和社会社区(Rovai,怀特岛和高年级队,2004),和社区建设已被确定为一个因素在减少或防止疏离和孤立的感觉可能导致学生流失率DL(Rovai,2002)。学习社区包括成员如何看待组成员对共享规范/价值观和教育目标的能力,以满足/预期(Rovai et al .,2004)。社会的社区代表对他们的连通性,社区成员感情的凝聚力,安全、相互依存、相互信任、和归属感(出处同上)。DL教育家培养这种社区通过创建一个安全的环境,学生不感到威胁表达思想的时候,通过促进社会化,显示尊重不同背景,提供反馈,指导并保持通信流,应对学生的教育需求,并维护一个明显的在线调节的存在。


The challenge for the distance educator is to combine these factors into a successful learning environment and diverse issues of constructivism and andragogy need to be considered. Palloff and Pratt, (2007) suggest that creating successful distance education using online methods will involve transferring our best practices from the classroom into a new arena, “in this new arena, however, the practices may not look exactly the same” (p.6). The online medium obliges DL educators to think differently in order to utilise its learning-enhancing functionality and pedagogic/andragogic potentials. It poses the challenge, and presents the opportunity, of creating a sense of community which can engender social constructivist learning.Within education, sense of community includes learning community and social community (Rovai, Wighting and Lucking, 2004), and community-building has been identified as a factor in reducing or preventing the feelings of alienation and isolation which may contribute to student attrition in DL (Rovai, 2002). Learning community comprises of how members perceive group membership with regard to shared norms/values and to the ability to meet educational aims/expectations (Rovai et al., 2004). Social community is representative of the feelings of community members towards their connectedness, cohesion, safety, interdependence, mutual trust, and sense of belonging (Ibid.). The DL educator fosters this sense of community through the creation of a safe environment wherein students do not feel threatened when expressing ideas, by promoting socialisation, displaying respect for diverse backgrounds, providing feedback which directs and keeps communication flowing, responding to students’ educational needs, and maintaining an obvious online mediating presence.


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