Citation Thompson TL & MacDonald CJ (2005) Community building, emergent design and expecting the unexpected: Creating a quality eLearning experience. Internet and Higher Education, 8 (3), pp. 233-249. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.iheduc.2005.06.004
Abstract Given the extraordinary interest and growth in eLearning as a learning tool and as an industry, it is notsurprising there is lively debate on quality. A research-based and tested eLearning model was used to design and evaluate an online M.Ed. course in order to study factors that influence the quality of an eLearning event. Several data collection methods were used to explore the experiences of key stakeholders in this case study: learners,design team, and instructors. This study reveals that learners engaged in a level of community that best suited theirneeds. Striving to achieve a spirit of community seemed to yield beneficial learning outcomes. This study alsoexplored the tension between structure and flexibility in course design. While skillful planning and extensiveorganization help create a positive learning environment, the design must also be conducive to rapid re-design as the course progresses in order to respond to learning needs as they emerge.