Students' identities and its relationships with their engagement in an online learning community

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Communities of practice's approaches have been proven to be effective in enhancing students' learning as well as helping them to cultivate inter- personal skills, especially within the higher education system. An important development in relation to participation in communities of practice is members' identities. This study was conducted with the aim of understanding students' identities in relation to their participation in an online community and how the dimensions of their identities correlated to each other. The research participants were 123 first-year students who were involved in collaborative sharing activities via an online community, using Weebly. Data was collected using a set of questionnaires that discussed four main dimensions of identities: personal, professional, as learners, and as members of communities. Data was analysed using SPSS version 22. The overall findings offer a detailed description of students' identities. A high positive correlation was found between students' prior knowledge and their motivation, commitment and beliefs with regard to the benefits of online communities. The only dimension of students' identities that lacked correlation with other dimensions was students' openness. The findings highlight the importance of understanding different aspects of identities and how this helps to enhance engagement in online communities. The findings are significant in terms of establishing a deeper understanding on learning process within a social learning theory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-19
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning
Volume14
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019

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Students
internet community
learning
community
student
participation
SPSS
first-year student
social learning
learning theory
education system
learning process
Education
commitment
questionnaire
knowledge

Keywords

  • Communities of practice
  • Identities
  • Motivation
  • Online
  • Social learning
  • Tertiary education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Engineering(all)

Cite this

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abstract = "Communities of practice's approaches have been proven to be effective in enhancing students' learning as well as helping them to cultivate inter- personal skills, especially within the higher education system. An important development in relation to participation in communities of practice is members' identities. This study was conducted with the aim of understanding students' identities in relation to their participation in an online community and how the dimensions of their identities correlated to each other. The research participants were 123 first-year students who were involved in collaborative sharing activities via an online community, using Weebly. Data was collected using a set of questionnaires that discussed four main dimensions of identities: personal, professional, as learners, and as members of communities. Data was analysed using SPSS version 22. The overall findings offer a detailed description of students' identities. A high positive correlation was found between students' prior knowledge and their motivation, commitment and beliefs with regard to the benefits of online communities. The only dimension of students' identities that lacked correlation with other dimensions was students' openness. The findings highlight the importance of understanding different aspects of identities and how this helps to enhance engagement in online communities. The findings are significant in terms of establishing a deeper understanding on learning process within a social learning theory.",
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