Examining the Dynamic of Participation Level on Group Contribution in a Global, STEM-Focused Digital Makerspace Community

  • Danielle P. EspinoEmail author
  • Seung B. Lee
  • Lauren Van Tress
  • Eric R. Hamilton
Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 1112)


Passive behavior in collaborative group settings is often associated with negative or no contributions to the group (social loafing). This paper examines low and high participation levels of students in a virtual collaborative group setting within a global, STEM-focused digital makerspace community. The results of using epistemic network analysis show that both high and low participation levels contributed to the overall balance of the group discourse, overcoming social loafing behavior. High participation level students provided social aspects that contributed to the development of a safe social space for sharing, while low level participation provided content focused dialogue for the group.


STEM education Global Collaboration CSCL Online Digital makerspace Informal learning Participation Social loafing 



The authors gratefully acknowledge funding support from the US National Science Foundation for the work this paper reports. Views appearing in this paper do not reflect those of the funding agency.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Danielle P. Espino
    • 1
    Email author
  • Seung B. Lee
    • 1
  • Lauren Van Tress
    • 1
  • Eric R. Hamilton
    • 1
  1. 1.Pepperdine UniversityMalibuUSA

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