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ERIC Number: EJ1066797
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1541-4914
The Web Pen Pals Project: Students' Perceptions of a Learning Community in an Online Synchronous Environment
Maples, Joellen; Groenke, Susan; Dunlap, Dan
Journal of Interactive Online Learning, v4 n2 p108-128 Fall 2005
This paper draws on data gathered from a five-month phenomenological study of middle school students' perceptions of the effects of computer-based technologies on a learning community in an online synchronous environment. Twenty-four eighth-grade students participated in the Web Pen Pals project, a university-secondary telecollaborative partnership which brings middle school students together with preservice teachers enrolled in an adolescent literature course in online chat rooms to discuss young adult literature. The complexities of creating a community are explored through interviews of the middle school participants, which reveal several themes affecting the development of a learning community: 1) obstacles to community-making, which include anonymity and lack of ease with technology; 2) establishing friendships; 3) an emergent language system; and 4) the symbolic inversion of traditional "teacher" and "student" roles.
University of Alabama. 152 Rose Administration, P.O. Box 870104, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487. Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools; Grade 8; Elementary Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Tennessee
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A