Community development among distance learners: Temporal and technological dimensions

Caroline Havthornthwaite, Michelie M. Kazmer, Jennifer Robins, Susan Shoemaker

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

236 Scopus citations


The social support and community development processes among members of a computer-supported distance learning program are analyzed. The research focuses on what characterizes the virtual distance learning community and how students define and maintain community while largely restricted to communication through media that have been viewed as unsuitable for maintenance of close social bonds. In distance education, each student take full advantage of the temporal proximity at on-campus activities, and maintain the bond through email exchange. It is important to promote initial bonding, monitoring and supporting continued interaction and participation. The benefits of belonging to a community are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Computer-Mediated Communication
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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