A paradigm shift for online community research

Chih Hsiung Tu, Michael Corry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Construction of an online learning community is an important approach to enhance the learning of online students. An online community differs from a traditional face-to-face (FTF) social learning community. The studies currently available have been conducted over short periods of time, have focussed on an analysis of end products, and do not consider the individual (the self). Therefore, they have failed to provide a comprehensive understanding of online communities. It is not clear how online participants should present themselves and how they should perform or interact in an online community. Online self, online self-presentation, online social presence and online interaction are important issues to be considered in the study of these communities. This paper examines an online learning community from the sociological and social learning aspects. It discusses Goffman's self-presentation, Short's social presence, and social interaction, points out the weaknesses that exist in current studies of online learning communities, and suggests future studies in online learning community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-263
Number of pages19
JournalDistance Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


Dive into the research topics of 'A paradigm shift for online community research'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this