Title: The process of disengaging from online learning community revealed through examination of threaded discussions

Authors: Michelle M. Kazmer

Addresses: School of Library and Information Studies, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, 32306-2100, USA

Abstract: The disengaging process is an important aspect of the lifecycle of distributed collaborative pursuits such as virtual groups, online social networking, and e-learning. To explore the disengaging process in online learning, this research analysed 667 discussion board posts made by a close community of e-learners during the final 1.5 years of their time together in a graduate degree programme. Using a model of disengaging to frame a qualitative analysis of the posts reveals findings about the ways the students change their roles as they near the time of graduation, and demonstrates the complex inter-relationship of elements of the disengaging model that emerges as the students shift their focus away from the online learning community.

Keywords: disengaging process; online learning communities; threaded discussions; distributed collaboration; online community departures; e-learning; electronic learning; online communities; web based communities; virtual communities; higher education; graduation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWBC.2012.049564

International Journal of Web Based Communities, 2012 Vol.8 No.4, pp.521 - 536

Available online: 08 Oct 2012 *

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