Experiences of a Newbie Helper in a Free, Open, Online, Mathematics Help Forum Community

Carla van de Sande

Abstract


Free, open, online help forums are open to the public and allow students to anonymously seek homework help from volunteers who have the time, willingness, and experience to respond. These forums offer affordable, accessible, and efficient help given as a social, public endeavor. Some forums exhibit a strong sense of virtual community, especially amongst well-established helpers who are core participants. To investigate how newcomers enter into such activity, five helpers were recruited to participate for eight consecutive weeks in an existing popular forum for mathematics homework help covering arithmetic through advanced mathematics. We explore characteristics of the activity of the newcomer helper who made the most progress in moving from peripheral to fuller participation in terms of membership, influence, and immersion.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.11114/jets.v1i1.25

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Journal of Education and Training Studies  ISSN 2324-805X (Print)   ISSN 2324-8068 (Online)

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