Online Interest Groups for Graduate Students: Benefit or Burden?

Sherri Melrose, Sharon L. Moore, Helen Ewing

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter extends discussion of an educational innovation project where faculty (the authors and associates) provided virtual gathering spaces (Clinical Interest Groups) for online health professions students to congregate. Unlike gathering spaces offered in discrete courses, the non-graded Clinical Interest Groups were open to all students in the nursing faculty's graduate programs. Getzlaf, Melrose, Moore, Ewing, Fedorchuk, and Troute-Wood (2012) found that students believed the virtual gathering spaces offered a valuable place where learners could discuss common interests and support one another. However, findings also revealed that participation in the groups was limited due to competing demands on students' time from other commitments. As online learning programs become commonplace, and as online social networking spaces also increase in popularity and usage, educators must consider both the benefit and the burden of inviting professional learners to participate in supplemental activities such as online interest groups. Areas for future research are suggested.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvanced Research in Adult Learning and Professional Development
Subtitle of host publicationTools, Trends, and Methodologies
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781466646162
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct. 2013


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