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Journey Step 9: Learning to Build Online Community

June 12, 2017 0 Comments

Learning to Build Online Community

Posted by Wise Jargon on Sunday, June 11, 2017

In 2004, the trend in adults going back to college to obtain a degree was being fueled by advances in the speed of the Internet. I became an adjunct instructor to teach face to face classes. And, by 2005, I had qualified to do something unheard of a decade earlier – teach college courses online.

Most online instruction is delivered via asynchronous instruction. Thus, the instructor might post a “discussion question” on Sunday night. Everyone in the class must then reply with their initial answer by Wednesday night, so that everyone may then interact/comment on one another’s posts throughout the balance of the week. Assignments are then sent/uploaded to the instructor for grading at the end of the week. Then, the process repeats in week 2, etc. All students and the instructor log on at any time of the day/week to complete their work. No one must be online at precisely the same time to do any of this.

In this way a “virtual community” is created for the length of the course as students and instructor interact online.

Two internet futurists – John Hagel and Arthur Armstrong – argued in their book “Net Gain,” that this form of virtual community would be the wave of the future. They were right. Today, you can form groups on websites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and many others. Many companies have places that you can leave online comments/criticisms, and even interact with other users of the company’s product or service.

For me, two things happened. First, as an adjunct instructor, I was able to earn enough money teaching for several colleges to be able to leave my “day job” as a business telecommunications sales person. Second, I saw a trend emerging that would transform how information is provided via the Internet. I was able to see how God might use the ability to teach online to conduct bible studies, online conversations about faith, and other forms of evangelism outreach. 1 John 1:7 comes to mind about creating fellowship even online. The verse says:

If we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

Beginning at that time, I began to think about how to build fellowship and community online. As you have interacted with people online, what thoughts have you had about how to be a source of inspiration and a communicator of wholesome information? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Well, thanks so much for watching. Thanks for watching my Facebook Live video. You can like my channel at

Thanks, and God bless.

Filed in: The Journey

About the Author:

David Lantz is a self-published author, adjunct college professor and leadership consultant. Visit my online courses at and like my facebook page at and

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