Identifying and facilitating group-development processes in virtual communities of teacher-learners

Article de revue


État de publication: Publiée (2005 Avril )

Nom de la revue: International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning

Volume: 2

Numéro: 4

Intervalle de pages: 23-32

ISBN: 1550-6908


Résumé: Through analysis of the written trace of asynchronous communication messages among teacherlearners in a virtual community, processes of social interaction were investigated in order to gain insight into how communities of learners may collaborate. Using group-development theory focusing on how a group that is meeting face-to-face moves through stages of initial distrust to trust, an eight-point scale instrument was developed to code messages from two groups of teacher-learners participating in online discussions. Results indicated that there was growth leading to interinfluence but that the group did not fully reach a stage of shared understandings. Group development in virtual communities can be facilitated through use of the various assessment tools provided by group-development theory. Group moderators and participants can formatively evaluate group interactions through an ongoing analysis or monitoring of written traces of communication of electronic messages.