Online learning community research - some influences of theory methods

Harris, Rachel and Muirhead, Alison (2004) Online learning community research - some influences of theory methods. In: Proceedings of the 2004 networked learning conference. Lancaster University, Lancaster.

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Abstract

This paper presents different perspectives on research in the field of online learning communities. To highlight the range of theoretical backgrounds and frameworks that are influencing research in this area, a brief outline is given of investigations into social networks and bonding; affordances of online communities; identity and presence; and community ‘building’. This serves to emphasise the diversity of approaches being applied, and the value of drawing from the theory of a wide range of disciplines. Combined with the difficulties of even attempting to compare methodologies or results across studies in this area, the need for some form of common ground is very clear.