Underlying factors of sense of community in asynchronous computer supported collaborative learning environments

Babak Abedin, Farhad Daneshgar, John D'Ambra

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Abstract

With the proliferation of online and distance courses human factors and social dimensions of computer supported collaborative learning (CSCL) environments are becoming more important than before. Research shows that development of a sense of community among individuals in the CSCL environments improves learning outcomes in such environments. The objective of this study is to examine the underlying dimensions of sense of community. Through an exploratory factor analysis two constructs have emerged: Individual’s sense of cohesion and awareness of others. Identification of these factors facilitates a better understanding of sense of community in CSCL environments, which in turn will guide the design of CSCL environments. In addition, the present paper examines the relationships between the facilitating factors of CSCL and the extracted factors in order to assess changes in individuals’ behavior. These factors include learner’s characteristics, course characteristics, instructor characteristics, and technical characteristics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)585-596
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of online learning and teaching
Volume6
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Bibliographical note

Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

Keywords

  • sense of community
  • collaborative learning
  • awareness of others
  • sense of cohesion

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