A pattern analysis of the social construction of knowledge in a discussion forum in an online community of practice.

Costanza, Michele N., Ph.D., The University of Kansas, 2005.


This study outlines how and what knowledge is constructed in a discussion forum in an online community of practice, S3-XO Net. The S3-XO Net community of practice was developed for U.S. Army operational officers (S3) and executive officers (XO) to share knowledge about their profession in an asynchronous online environment. This study builds on Lave and Wenger's (1990) model of situated learning , which focuses on social relationships. The study analyzes the knowledge construction of the participants in threaded discussion forums. A panel of experts evaluated if new knowledge resulted from the threaded discussions. This study also describes the patterns of interaction evident in the discussion forums that showed the most growth toward new knowledge construction.