Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education


Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences


School of Communications and Multimedia / Centre for Research in Entertainment, Arts,Technology, Education and Communications




This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of: Brook, C. J., & Oliver, R. G. (2003). Exploring online learning community development: The relative importance of influencing factors. Proceedings of Annual Conference of the Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education. (pp. 63-73). Adelaide, SA. Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education. Available here


This paper describes an investigation into the development of learners’ sense of community using a model describing community development through presage, process and product stages. The study sought to explore the relative importance of design factors and to describe the relative influence of factors between the presage and process stages in the model. The study was facilitated through an investigation into the practices of a professional working in the field who was committed to the principles of collaborative learning and the development of a learning community. The findings reveal a strong influence of presage factors many of which had the prospect to limit community development among learners. The results suggest the need for teachers to be attentive to the presage factors in the delivery of online courses and programs and to implement courses of action to overcome limitations which are evident in the presage stage.

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