It has been interesting that online group work for L185 seems to have been particularly successful this time - it is working how it should.
It is noticeable that there is a lot of supportive chat going on as well as the task focused discussion. There are many women in the groups and this does tend to confirm that women post more of what Rovai (2001: 41) calls “socio-emotional messages”.
Rovai, A.P. (2001) “Building classroom community at a distance: a case study” Education Technology Research and Development, Vol. 49, No. 4, 2001, pp. 33–48
New commentThanks for the reference. I have come to find getting together online a vital part of distance learning. The problem is galvinising people to get involved ... too quickly a group mentality can set in that gravitates against it. Each tutor group needs what the French call an 'animateur', someone to get the party going!
Thanks, Jonathon for the comment. I think you are right. Sometimes, these groups work so well and other times they do not. I wonder how much effect we can have on this success or whether it is a matter of luck in having the right balance of people or more likely, having the right people at the right time .