Title: Cyworld is my world: Korean adult experiences in an online community for learning

Authors: Young Park, Gyeong Mi Heo, Romee Lee

Addresses: Department of Mathematics, Science, and Technology in Education, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA. ' Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology, McGill University, Education Building, 3700 McTavish Street, Montreal, QC, H3A 1Y2, Canada. ' Career Education Centre, Korea Employment Information Service, 77–11, Mullae-dong 3-ga, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul, 150–093, Korea

Abstract: This article introduces Cyworld, a popular online social networking service in South Korea, and explores it as a potential context in which informal learning occurs through social activities and communication. Based on the results of an online survey, this article discusses (a) the nature of social activities in Cyworld in terms of informal adult learning, (b) user perception of online activities in relation to learning, and (c) the relationship between the users| perception of the online activities and their definitions of learning (i.e., learning as acquisition or as reflection). The article concludes that Cyworld appears to be a meaningful context that facilitates informal learning, and that users who emphasise a meaning-making process for learning perceive that mini-homepage activities are both learning-related and constructive.

Keywords: online communities; online learning; adult learning; informal learning; internet technology; web-based learning; South Korea; Cyworld; web based communities; social networking; user perceptions.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWBC.2008.016489

International Journal of Web Based Communities, 2008 Vol.4 No.1, pp.33 - 51

Published online: 02 Jan 2008 *

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