Title: Supporting participation in online learning communities with awareness information

Authors: Stefan Nilsson; Lars Svensson

Addresses: Department of Economics and IT, University West, Gustava Melins Gata 2, SE-461 86 Trollhättan, Sweden. ' Department of Economics and IT, University West, Gustava Melins Gata 2, SE-461 86 Trollhättan, Sweden

Abstract: This article sets out to investigate the relationship between awareness information and participation in an online learning community (OLC). Inspired by the sociocultural notion of learning as social participation, this article will analyse the events that took place in an online photo gallery equipped with a system for visualising co-present users. The article discusses the importance of why social systems should support the creation, recreation and reinforcement of social norms to better facilitate participation. The article concludes by presenting four design implications of educational technologies supporting participation as well as a section referencing the importance of a transactional perspective in order to understand the effects of awareness information.

Keywords: awareness information; participation; online learning communities; OLCs; social norms; social presence; online communities; web based communities; virtual communities; educational technology.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWBC.2012.049565

International Journal of Web Based Communities, 2012 Vol.8 No.4, pp.537 - 549

Available online: 08 Oct 2012 *

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