Introduction

Distance education is a powerful branch of formalized learning that utilizes technology to connect students and instructors who are geographically separated.  This technology includes readily accessible communication tools, as well as resourceful and innovative strategies to integrate lessons into students’ daily lives.

The success of distance education is reliant upon student retention and engagement.  Programs are designed to share information with students, and the transfer and building of knowledge requires student participation.

My name is Cheryl Williams and I am studying distance education at University of Maryland University College (UMUC).  While researching into student attrition, I was reminded of my experiences in traditional education where peer and community support helped me to succeed in my classwork.  The purpose of this blog is explore the use of communities to unite learners and encourage retention.