“Me and My Computer”: Emotional Factors in Online Learning

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RESEARCHThis study focused on nursing student perceptions of sense of community in the online classroom. Using qualitative analysis of data gathered from five student focus groups, themes related to the affective domain in online learning were identified: aloneness, anonymity, nonverbal communication, trepidations, and unknowns. This article provides detailed examples of student experiences under each theme and suggests that greater attention to the affective domain is needed, particularly in asynchronous online learning. Pedagogical strategies that foster a sense of community in online courses between students and faculty enhance cognition through affective engagement of students. Strategies for instructors are given.

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