Exploring the Characteristics of Pedagogical Lurkers

ID: 31848 Type: Brief Paper
  1. Laurie-ann Hellsten, Laureen McIntyre, and Michelle Prytula, University of Saskatchewan, Canada

Friday, March 11 10:35-10:55 AM Location: Two Rivers

No presider for this session.

Abstract: In online courses, class discussions commonly occur in asynchronous discussion boards where students are able to participate at their convenience (Mabrito, 2002). Research suggests that students who rarely or never post comments can receive a pedagogical benefit from “lurking” or vicariously observing the interactions of others (Sutton, 2001). Lurking has been frowned upon and discouraged (Dennen, 2008). The purpose of this study is to better understand the characteristics of lurkers within a Canadian university online class environment. Participants will include 12 purposively selected undergraduate and graduate students. One hour interviews will be conducted via the telephone. Thematic analysis will be used to identify repeated patterns of meaning from the experiences of the participants. This study is a work in progress project. Information about why students choose to be only peripherally involved should allow us to better design online learning environments.


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