I recently listened to Stephen Downes, who talked about connectivism and teaching/learning online with MOOCs. He stated that the core elements in a learning society are:
As I move through my first MOOC, I am beginning to understand the importance of community in online learning. I have taken several online courses in the past and I always cringed when we had to go “group” projects. I preferred to work alone and be assured that the task was completed correctly an on time. Now I realize, I can learn so much more in a course from my group members. I might study something I am unfamiliar with, because I know I have the support of others in the group. We can all work together to bring about a project.
Establishing and working in an online group community can be challenging but with the online tools we have, it is much easier than it was in the past. Online group work is becoming less scary for me.