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Bonding in Online Communities

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Group attachment is an important aspect of retaining and maintaining customers. As groups begin to identify and interact with new members, they build additional identities with the service or product. Research by Yuquing Ren, et. al (2012), focuses on communication and the understanding of identity, bond, and community identity in online forums. Their study helps highlight how different types of attachment strengthen online interaction and customer retention.  The far majority of business that seeks to build online communities fail to attract a critical mass of customers even when over a million dollars have been spent (Worthen, 2008).   The primary problem is that they have not been able to create and develop a level of attachment among members. Customers simply come and disappear after a few posts.  Understanding that there is identity attachment, bond attachment and community attachment can help in fostering the right type of activities that create positive identity w

Improving Student Learning Through Interactive Forums

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Discussion forums are not being consistently used to effectively contribute to learning. Part of the problem lay with students while other parts of the problem lay with professors but it is the forum itself that can adjust and make a difference in the connectivity of the elements and an improvement in the overall learning process. Developing strong forums is part of the learning battle and when done well can impact the quality of learning throughout a university.  According to Rose and Smith (2007) there are a few best practices with online forums which include giving clear instructions, useful feedback, improve motivation, set appropriate expectations, organizing the forums, social presence, determine questions to be asked. Such forums should not be seen from a static and singular perspective. They are living, breathing, and moving entities that require an environmental approach from different angles.  Salmon’s five stage model is a solid reflection tool that helps to

Online Interactive Learning Forums

Dr. Arulchelvan from Anna University in India has written a paper in the Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education that analyzes online forums for positive interactivity that fosters learning. The survey was conducted on 250 students from different media courses. He studied what beneficial practices fostered online learning and furthered the educational learning needs of the students. Through this study it was found that interactivity, use of content, and student preferences had a bearing on the learning level.  Online forums are often difficult to measure and judge. Some focus on content and some focus more on quantity of posts. Quantity of student posts can be an indication that students are interested in particular topics. They will naturally respond to those questions are of more interest to them personally. Analyzing quantity can help determine the overall interest in certain questions which should be fostered in the remaking of the courses in the future.  Interacti