Exemplars of on-line peer support—are we looking in the right places?

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Research and Development in Higher Education: Quality Conversations Vol. 25

July, 2002, 794 pages
Published by
Tony Herrington
0 908557 54 X

Peer support is a powerful force in collaborative on-line learning environments that aids student motivation, learning and satisfaction. Clanning, the feeling that one belongs to a group is a social phenomenon than can be observed wherever people gather, either physically or virtually, to discuss and promote common feelings, causes or ideals, and has existed for centuries. Clanning is most obvious when the reason for gathering together is focussed on such strongly held ideals as race, culture, family affiliation, religious belief or team sports. Examples of clanning abound in contact Universities. The promotion of clanning at a macro level in distance education offers the potential to attract new students and retain alumni through open access, virtual communities on the home page of the University. This clanning or feeling of belonging would also be present at the micro level when the students commenced study and would allow more rapid progress in the distance course itself due to the fact that social presence would already be established. Team sports offer an opportunity to examine issues around clanning and techniques for the promotion of clanning. Team sport websites are examined for examples of ways to promote clanning and compared to academic websites. The applicability of Internet based clanning techniques to distance education are examined.

Keywords: clanning, peer support, academic websites

Exemplars of on-line peer support—are we looking in the right places?

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Green, J.