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ERIC Number: EJ783263
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Feb
Pages: 17
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 54
ISSN: ISSN-0306-9885
An Informal Online Learning Community for Student Mental Health at University: A Preliminary Investigation
Richards, Derek; Tangney, Brendan
British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, v36 n1 p81-97 Feb 2008
As a potential solution to increasing demands on mental health services at universities, this project seeks to develop an informal online learning community for mental health support and education. Students' use of the Internet and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), especially to access health information, provides a supporting rationale for this project. The design for this study is grounded in the pedagogical principles of informal learning and the practices for building successful online communities. The student online mental health community has been implemented at the authors' university (University of Dublin, Trinity College) for one academic term and the initial analysis of its usage is positive. Features that are being positively evaluated are the role of the reader participant, disinhibition that arises from anonymity, online provision acting as a gateway to further support, and online provision reaching an audience who ordinarily do not use face-to-face services. At the same time, difficulties specific to this type of community have surfaced, including technical issues, implications of anonymity and user safety. (Contains 1 table and 2 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A