NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ873408
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 35
ISSN: ISSN-1741-8887
No Pain, No Game: Use of an Online Game to Explore Issues of Online Identity and the Implications for Collaborative E-Learning
Hughes, Gwyneth; Scott, Catherine
E-Learning, v2 n4 p388-401 2005
As computer-mediated communication (CMC) is becoming more mainstream in higher education (HE), the issue of social interaction online and its impact on learning has been raised. CMC theorists have argued that shared group identity produces the online social presence necessary for successful interaction but that other identities may be inhibiting. Meanwhile, advocates of the liberating potential of online communication have drawn on postmodern interpretations of identity to argue that the online world offers freedom from the constraints of social identities such as gender and class, but critics argue that social behaviours and stereotypes are not transcended but are reproduced through language and style. Salmon's five-step model promotes social interaction as a basis for collaborative e-learning, but it does not encourage such a critical exploration of online identity. To address these issues, this article explores the development and use of an online identity creation game to examine how participants respond to making online identity more visible, and to review the implications for e-learning. Discourse analysis was used to study the game from a researcher-participant perspective. Nearly all players pursued a low-risk strategy of concentrating on their own identity rather than on those of peers and were anxious about applying social conventions online. While many understood how online identity is constructed though descriptive text, only a minority was aware that style and language can also create identity, thus exhibiting what we term online "listening" skills. The game made transparent some of the difficulties in developing the online presence required for collaborative e-learning and suggests a more general need for learners to acquire familiarity with the processes of online identity construction. (Contains 1 table.)
Symposium Journals. P.O. Box 204, Didcot, Oxford, OX11 9ZQ, UK. Tel: +44-1235-818-062; Fax: +44-1235-817-275; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (London)