Gaming On-Line: A Simulation Application


  • Daniel Smith


This study develops a theory about the process through which communities form in computer-mediated classes. The study was designed as series of interviews with both students and educators. In addition, we conducted a comprehensive survey to capture the culture surrounding distance learning. Our findings indicate that the distance learning experience is achieved by accomplishing the following: (1) making friends on-line with whom students feel comfortable communicating; (2) forming a comfortable distance learning community where students feel that they are part of long, thoughtful, threaded discussions on a certain subject; (3) creating camaraderie. We note that this last guideline is usually achieved after long-term or intense association with others involving personal communication. We also show that each of these guidelines involves a greater degree of engagement in both the class and the dialogue.