Profiling Group Activity of Online Academic Workspaces: The Hellenic Open University Case Study

Profiling Group Activity of Online Academic Workspaces: The Hellenic Open University Case Study

D. Karaiskakis (Hellenic Open University, Greece), D. Kalles (Hellenic Open University, Greece) and Th. Hadzilacos (Hellenic Open University, Greece)
DOI: 10.4018/jwltt.2008070101
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Abstract

All undergraduate and postgraduate students of the Hellenic Open University (HOU) attend courses at a distance. The lack of a live academic community is reported by many as a drawback in their studies. Systematic exploitation of new communication and collaboration technologies is desirable in HOU but cannot be imposed universally as the average student’s IT competence level is relatively low. In this work, we present a key aspect of the development of an integrated communication environment in which collaboration spaces serving as open communities play a key role in user engagement in the whole communication environment. To track and evaluate user participation, we propose to use indices drawn from inexpensively collected usage data. Such indices, when combined with our detailed knowledge of the internal workings of user groups, provide concrete evaluation of the community online activity.

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