Conference Report: II Online Congress for the Observatory of the Cybersociety: Towards what Knowledge Society?

Daniel Domínguez Figaredo, Laura Alonso Díaz


This report summarizes the efforts of the working group coordinated by the authors titled "Learning Communities around Virtual Forums," linked to the II Online Congress for the Observatory of the Cybersociety: Towards what Knowledge Society? First we analyze the gestation process of the congress and of the previously mentioned working group. Next, we focus on the specific goals of the working group and on the conclusions of the discussion that focused on qualitative methods applied to virtual communities. Basically, the working group attempted to address the following issues: (1) instructional design influencing learning groups in cyberspace; (2) dynamization strategies in communities of practice with a training character; (3) influence of moderators-tutors in the negotiation of meanings; (4) the process of decision making and problem solution in forums; (5) promotion of collaborative learning in forums; (6) communities of learning with an open character (informal) versus closed ones (formal): educational derivations. We also present discussions about qualitative research applied to virtual communities. The special types of interaction in the working group, according to the cyberspace, defined the debates about communication dynamics in the context of virtual communities. Finally, we summarize the conclusions regarding the suitability of the qualitative approach in virtual forum analysis, the required definition of learning communities as a framework to analyze it, and the qualitative strategies centered on the participation and the textual data to be used in interaction process in cyberspace (specially the ethnography, netnography and content analysis).
URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs050221


cyberspace; virtual communities; virtual forums; learning; qualitative methods

Copyright (c) 2005 Daniel Domínguez Figaredo, Laura Alonso Díaz

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