Community Building and Computer-Mediated Conferencing
Moisey, Susan D.
Neu, Candace E.
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This study examined the relationship between community cohesion and computer-mediated conferencing (CMC), as well as other variables potentially associated with the development of a learning community. Within the context of a graduate-level course in instructional design (a core course in the Masters of Distance Education program at Athabasca University) students participated in asynchronous online discussion groups as an integral part of their course activities. Upon completion of the course, a questionnaire based on Rovai's (2002) Classroom Cohesion Scale (CSS) was administered to examine the relationship between community cohesion and students' perception of their CMC participation as well as other selected variables. The CSS was comprised of two subscales: the Connectedness subscale and the Learning Community subscale. Results revealed a significant positive correlation between community cohesion and passive CMC involvement (i.e., reading postings) but not with more active CMC involvement (e.g., making postings, replying to others' postings). Significant positive correlations were also found between course satisfaction and community cohesion (both the Learning Community and Connectedness subscales) and between program satisfaction and community cohesion (only the Connectedness subscale).