Anonymity options and professional participation in an online community of practice

Peter G. Kilner, Christopher M. Hoadley

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

In this paper, we analyze a natural experiment regarding anonymity options and participation in a large, successful online community of practice (CoP) for U.S. soldiers. We study the impacts of changes of anonymity options on comment quality for productive discussion and professionalism. Four levels of personal attribution or anonymity of comments are significantly correlated with comment quality under some, but not all, circumstances. Eliminating anonymity options produced significantly fewer antisocial comments and fewer comments overall, although it did not affect overall peripheral participation as measured by logins and page views. Online identity or reputation appears to be more of a factor than external culpability in shaping user behaviors. Attitudes of participants and the evolution of norms over time are presented, and implications for the design of online learning communities are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationComputer Supported Collaborative Learning 2005
Subtitle of host publicationThe Next 10 Years - Proceedings of the International Conference on Computer Supported Collaborative Learning 2005, CSCL 2005
PublisherLawrence Erlbaum Associates Inc.
Pages272-280
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)0805857826, 9780805857825
DOIs
StatePublished - 2005
EventInternational Conference on Computer Supported Collaborative Learning 2005, CSCL 2005 - Taipei, Taiwan, Province of China
Duration: May 30 2005Jun 4 2005

Publication series

NameComputer Supported Collaborative Learning 2005: The Next 10 Years - Proceedings of the International Conference on Computer Supported Collaborative Learning 2005, CSCL 2005

Other

OtherInternational Conference on Computer Supported Collaborative Learning 2005, CSCL 2005
CountryTaiwan, Province of China
CityTaipei
Period5/30/056/4/05

Keywords

  • Anonymity
  • Asynchronous discussion
  • Community of practice
  • Facilitation
  • Flaming
  • Moderation
  • Norms
  • Online discussion
  • Participation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Computer Science Applications

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  • Cite this

    Kilner, P. G., & Hoadley, C. M. (2005). Anonymity options and professional participation in an online community of practice. In Computer Supported Collaborative Learning 2005: The Next 10 Years - Proceedings of the International Conference on Computer Supported Collaborative Learning 2005, CSCL 2005 (pp. 272-280). (Computer Supported Collaborative Learning 2005: The Next 10 Years - Proceedings of the International Conference on Computer Supported Collaborative Learning 2005, CSCL 2005). Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Inc.. https://doi.org/10.3115/1149293.1149328