Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Helping Graduate Students Join an Online Learning Community

Date of this Version



Yao, C., Wilson, B., Garcia, C., DeFrain, E., & Cano, A. (2017). Helping Graduate Students Join an Online Learning Community. EDUCAUSE Review. Retrieved from


© 2017 Christina W. Yao, Brian C. Wilson, Crystal E. Garcia, Erica L. DeFrain, and Andrew J. Cano. The text of this article is licensed under Creative Commons BY 4.0.


Online learners in graduate studies often face two new realities at the start of their academic careers: shifting identity into becoming graduate students, and developing online course competency.

The Student Success Center — a strong orientation to online learning and graduate education — provides a foundation for establishing a community of online graduate program learners.

Through that community of learners and with frequent interactions with instructors and staff, students can begin the process of becoming socialized into our department and their field of study.

Finding collaborative ways to reduce their feelings of isolation and help online graduate students realize that they are part of a learning community that spans the university greatly improves the student experience and helps foster their success.

[A preservation pdf version is attached below.]