Issues associated with participation in on line forums—the case of the communicative learner

Abstract

This paper reports on participation within on-line forums. The focus is on asynchronous text based discussion within small groups of learners following a learning event or course. Participation is a key issue within such forums and research was carried out into adult learners' experiences within three case studies. Learners were positive about the forums in which they took part but participation was less than many would have liked. This paper describes the constraints on participation and outlines three patterns of participation—non participation, quiet participation and communicative participation. Discussion focuses on the communicative leaner—someone who participates regularly in forums and in ways which are broadly welcomed by others in the group. A profile of the communicative learner is developed in which the importance of fluency, coherence and informality is highlighted. The paper summarises the issues associated with on-line participation and their implications for supporting communicative participation.

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Hammond, M. Issues associated with participation in on line forums—the case of the communicative learner. Education and Information Technologies 4, 353–367 (1999). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1009661512881

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  • Internet
  • on-line forums
  • electronic comunication
  • communicative learner
  • on-line participation