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The strength of cohesive ties: discursive construction of an online learning community

Ferguson, Rebecca; Gillen, Julia; Peachey, Anna and Twining, Peter (2011). The strength of cohesive ties: discursive construction of an online learning community. In: Researching Learning in Immersive Virtual Environments (ReLIVE 2011), 21-22 September 2011, The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK.

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Learning takes place in a social context and this context can offer many resources, including structure, continuity and motivation. Online, two primary learning types of context have been identified, networks and communities. While networks may offer a wealth of people and resources, communities appear to offer richer learning possibilities. It is therefore important to investigate how online learning communities can be formed from online networks, and whether such a shift benefits learners. The study reported here focuses on two groups of teenagers, one a formal learning group from the USA and the other an informal learning group from the UK. The groups were originally only weakly tied in a network, but aimed to create a single learning community through activity in an online forum, wiki and virtual world. Thematic analysis of their forum posts shows the importance of cohesive ties grammatical devices used to construct coherent narratives to the development of key elements of community: spirit, authority, trade and art.

Item Type: Conference Item
Copyright Holders: 2012 The Authors
Extra Information: The Proceedings of the Researching Leanring in Immersive Virtual Environments Conference,
21-22 September 2011,
The Open University, UK
ISBN 978-1-78007-320-0
Keywords: cohesive ties; register; cohesion; community; networks; learning; online learning; trust; trade; spirit; art; weak ties; register; social learning
Academic Unit/Department: Institute of Educational Technology
Education and Language Studies > Centre for Language and Communication
Education and Language Studies > Education
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET)
Related URLs:
Item ID: 33724
Depositing User: Rebecca Ferguson
Date Deposited: 24 May 2012 08:51
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2012 03:13
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