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Collaboration in Virtual Environments: a study of interactions in a social network

, , University of Minho, Portugal

E-Learn: World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education, in New Orleans, LA, USA ISBN 978-1-939797-12-4 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), San Diego, CA


This article describes a study that aims to understand the collaboration processes in a discussion forum of a social network created for the professional development of Portuguese speaking teachers. Murphy’s (2004) conceptual framework was chosen to analyse the learning processes underlying online asynchronous interactions that occur following through six progressive stages from social presence and ending to the production of shared artefacts. Results show that the social presence is essential to support a virtual community because it helps to remove the impersonality of such environments in which face-to-face contacts are almost non-existent. However, it has not been possible to check for high levels of collaboration as reported in the literature. Collaboration has still a long way to go and its promotion depends on the engagement of participants in the process of transcending individual perspectives and reaching collective knowledge construction.


Coutinho, C. & Lisboa, E. (2014). Collaboration in Virtual Environments: a study of interactions in a social network. In T. Bastiaens (Ed.), Proceedings of World Conference on E-Learning (pp. 421-428). New Orleans, LA, USA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved February 18, 2019 from .

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