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Understanding student participation in undergraduate course communities: A case study


Participation is the cornerstone of any community. Promoting, understanding and properly managing it allows not only keeping the community sustainable, but also providing personalized services to its members and managers. This article presents a case study in which student participation in a course community was motivated using two different extrinsic mechanisms, and mediated by a software platform. The results were compared with a baseline community of the same course, in which participation was not motivated by external means. The analysis of these results indicates that managing a partially virtual course community requires the introduction of monitoring services, community managers and extrinsic mechanisms to motivate participation. These findings allow community managers to improve their capability for promoting participation and keeping the community sustainable. The findings also raise several implications that should be considered in the design of software supporting this kind of community, when managing the participation of its members.

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This work has been partially supported by the Fondecyt Project (Chile), grant: 1150252. The work of Francisco J. Gutierrez has been supported by the Ph.D. Scholarship Program of Conicyt Chile (CONICYT-PCHA/Doctorado Nacional/2013-21130075).

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Correspondence to Francisco J. Gutierrez.

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Gutierrez, F.J., Ochoa, S.F., Zurita, G. et al. Understanding student participation in undergraduate course communities: A case study. Inf Syst Front 18, 7–21 (2016).

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