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


  • Daniel Domínguez Figaredo UNED Madrid
  • Laura Alonso Díaz Universidad de Extremadura



cyberspace, virtual communities, virtual forums, learning, qualitative methods


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


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Author Biographies

Daniel Domínguez Figaredo, UNED Madrid

Daniel DOMÍNGUEZ FIGAREDO ( has a degree in Teaching and Education. At present, he develops his educational and investigative work in the UNED. His lines of research are concerned with the social-educative implications of the TIC and cyberspace. His latest work has involved analyzing the virtual forums of training character from heterogeneous perspectives, such as qualitative approaches and the analysis of social networks. He is FQS Associate Editor Latin America.

Laura Alonso Díaz, Universidad de Extremadura

Laura ALONSO DÍAZ has a degree in Psycho-pedagogy and Social Education. Among her academic activities are the tutorship of virtual courses at the University of Extremadura. Her research activities are focused on aspects of the training of tutors of virtual teaching.



How to Cite

Domínguez Figaredo, D., & Alonso Díaz, L. (2005). Conference Report: II Online Congress for the Observatory of the Cybersociety: Towards what Knowledge Society?. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 6(2).