Title: Theories of participation in online learning communities: an intersectional understanding

Authors: Jimmy Jaldemark

Addresses: Department of Education, Mid Sweden University, SE-871 88 Härnösand, Sweden

Abstract: This article deals with the question of how participation in online learning communities can be understood. Starting from the idea that participation in such communities has an intersectional character; it investigates how understanding of this character of participation relates to different rhetoric. Such rhetoric is discussed as being either interactional or transactional. The discussion links the application of rhetoric to both human beings and non-human objects such as content and technologies. The article concludes that application of a dualistic interactional rhetoric is suitable to a narrow conceptualisation and design of participation in online learning communities. However, a non-dualistic transactional rhetoric is suitable if a wider conceptualisation and design of participation in online learning communities is sought. An example from the healthcare sector is used to illustrate how the ideas discussed in the article could be applied to designing for participation in online learning communities.

Keywords: intersectional understanding; interactional rhetoric; transactional rhetoric; human beings; non-human objects; dualistic rhetoric; participation design; interactions; intersections; transactions; online courses; participation conceptualisation; non-dualistic rhetoric; healthcare; recommenders; recommender systems; e-communities; electronic communities; internet; world wide web; virtual communities; web based communities; online communities; virtual learning communities.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWBC.2012.048058

International Journal of Web Based Communities, 2012 Vol.8 No.3, pp.375 - 388

Published online: 20 Aug 2014 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article