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Social Connection Theory for Online Problem-Solving Groups

Social Connection Theory for Online Problem-Solving Groups
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Author(s): Deana L. Molinari (Idaho State University, USA)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 6
Source title: Encyclopedia of Distance Learning, Second Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Patricia L. Rogers (Bemidji State University, USA), Gary A. Berg (California State University Channel Islands (Retired), USA), Judith V. Boettcher (Designing for Learning, USA), Caroline Howard (HC Consulting, USA), Lorraine Justice (Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong) and Karen D. Schenk (K. D. Schenk and Associates Consulting, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-198-8.ch279


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Scholars in business, psychology, education, psychiatry have tried to understand face-to-face (F2F) group process since World War II (Poole, 1985; Gersick, 1988; Bales, 1951). The desire was to identify those characteristics and processes that could be facilitated for optimal performance. Research findings influenced how groups are facilitated today. Researchers now focus on studying online groups. Is the process the same? Some internet oriented scholars find online communication differs (MacDonald, 2002; McIsaac & Blocher, 1998). A variety of disciplines need to understand the online environment (Posey & Pintz, 2006; Kling & Courtright, 2003). Instructors need a better understanding of the online environment and how the student experience is impacted before designing the online educational process (Bolen, 2003;Molinari, 2004; Molinari, 2003;Vrasidas, 2002; Brown, 2001). A grounded theory approach was used to study the critical thinking in two online groups working on a collaborative project. The goal was to develop a preliminary theory for further empirical study.

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