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ERIC Number: EJ971038
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jan
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 32
ISSN: ISSN-1939-5256
Thought-Leaders in Asynchronous Online Learning Environments
Waters, Jim
Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, v16 n1 p19-34 Jan 2012
The growth of online learning has exposed fundamental gaps in our knowledge, both theoretical and pragmatic. This research investigated some questions of the role of emergent leaders in online leaning and the influence of different behaviors. Firstly are there any common factors that identify thought-leaders? Secondly does the presence of thought-leaders affect student perceptions of online discussion? Finally it addressed the question of perceived influence vs. actual influence. Student interactions in Asynchronous Online Discussion boards were analyzed and student backgrounds and perceptions gathered. Clear patterns of strong emergent leadership behaviors were evident in the majority of courses. Thought-leaders could be distinguished from non-thought-leaders from both their professional backgrounds and the role-behaviors they exhibited. Student perceptions of peers as thought-leaders were highly influenced by factors such as the extent to which students could bring relevant professional experience into the discussions. (Contains 11 tables.)
Sloan Consortium. P.O. Box 1238, Newburyport, MA 01950. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: North America