I guess this really shouldn’t be that big a surprise. The proliferation of online colleges has naturally spurred the growth of things affiliated with colleges. There are now online coffee shops and bars. Now there are online student clubs. From an Inside Higher Ed article by Steve Kolowich comes news that:
At a handful of institutions, students working toward degrees online are meeting outside of class via the Web. These extracurricular organizations offer online students what many feel they are missing: the social and professional opportunities that historically have been part of the college experience.
One student at Pennsylvania State University’s World Campus created an online psychology club, which once held a meeting in Second Life.
Some administrators of online programs seem to think the online clubs might benefit the institutions, too. According to the article:
The more students feel part of a community, the likelier they are to stick with an online program, says Shelley Hintz, coordinator of student engagement. Penn State’s World Campus, meanwhile, is planning to make the online psychology club there a part of its marketing strategy.
Next step: online fraternities.