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Collaborative Online Learning: Interaction Patterns and Limiting Factors

Open Learning Volume 19, Number 2, ISSN 0268-0513


This paper reports on two studies related to online communication in distance learning courses. In the first study, students' messages in an online discussion board were analyzed to identify message categories and interaction patterns in an attempt to develop a framework for analyzing online messages. In the second study, a questionnaire survey was conducted to find out why some students were not participating actively in online discussion. The results showed that access to computers was not a deterrent to online participation for this group of students. Rather, it was the lack of time and the learners' preference for spending time on reading than on online discussion that formed the most significant barriers. In addition, students' level of participation was affected by their peers.


Fung, Y.Y.H. (2004). Collaborative Online Learning: Interaction Patterns and Limiting Factors. Open Learning, 19(2), 135-149. Retrieved April 14, 2021 from .

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