Having just spent the last two weeks without internet, I realise how engaged I have become in this course and how much I miss the interaction of colleagues, watching pages develop and reading how friends are getting along in the course.
In the article Learning at a Distance: Engaged or Not?, the authors report that distant online learners are often more engaged in the learning process than their oncampus counterparts, except in the area of activies and collaborative engagement.
"Student engagement takes many forms—intellectual challenge, active and collaborative learning, meaningful interactions with faculty, and the perception that the learning environment is supportive of the student's efforts to overcome obstacles to learning"
The authors suggest that online courses should encourage collaborative activity, which I believe this course has tried to do with the Knowledge Garden. In my last unit of the Masters, I find myself more engaged than ever before in the process of learning through interaction.