Creating a model to examine motivation for sustained engagement in online communities

  • Seddon K
  • Skinner N
  • Postlethwaite K
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Abstract

This paper considers factors that influenced long-term engagement in an online community. It draws on a case study of a 6 year online collaboration amongst a group of European teachers. The email interchange between these teachers was, with their agreement, saved and used as research data; intensive group interviews were also conducted, involving all the participants in the online group. Dynamic motivation models and Csikszentmihalyi’s concept of motivational flow were used to create a theoretical framework to analyse the email interchanges and group interview data so as to build an understanding of the teachers’ commitment to the online community. As a result of the analysis, the existing theoretical models were modified to produce a new combined model. This incorporates ideas grounded in the participants’ reasons for their sustained engagement in the collaboration. This combined model could provide a basis for planning future virtual interactions and for assessing their sustainability. Keywords

Author-supplied keywords

  • Asynchronous virtual collaboration
  • Dynamic model of motivation
  • Sustained online engagement

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Authors

  • Kathy Seddon

  • Nigel C. Skinner

  • Keith C. Postlethwaite

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