The Effects of Conversations with Regulars and Administrators on the Participation of New Users in a Virtual Learning Community
Medynskiy, Yevgeniy (Eugene)
Bruckman, Amy S.
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Recent interest in synchronous collaborative learning environments prompts an examination of users' participation, social roles, and social interactions in these spaces. We analyze new users' participation rates on MOOSE Crossing, a collaborative educational environment that has been operating for over ten years. We examine how interactions with MOOSE Crossing regulars - highly active users who set the tone for the community - and its administrators, may influence the participation of new users. New users who conversed with regulars or administrators soon after joining are found to exhibit more social activity and stay involved with MOOSE Crossing longer than new users who did not. Regulars are apparently better at eliciting participation than administrators, but a synergistic effect is also detected - new users who interacted with both administrators and regulars exhibit especially high rates of participation.