Online learning community research - some influences of theory methods

Rachel Harris, Alison Muirhead

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution book


This paper presents different perspectives on research in the field of online learning communities. To highlight the range of theoretical backgrounds and frameworks that are influencing research in this area, a brief outline is given of investigations into social networks and bonding; affordances of online communities; identity and presence; and community ‘building’. This serves to emphasise the diversity of approaches being applied, and the value of drawing from the theory of a wide range of disciplines. Combined with the difficulties of even attempting to compare methodologies or results across studies in this area, the need for some form of common ground is very clear.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2004 networked learning conference
Place of PublicationLancaster
Publication statusPublished - 2004
EventNetworked Learning 2004 Conference - Lancaster, United Kingdom
Duration: 5 Apr 20047 Jun 2004


ConferenceNetworked Learning 2004 Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • online learning community
  • theory methods
  • influences
  • identity
  • sense of community
  • methodology
  • theory
  • social networks
  • affordances

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