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Lurking as Learning in Online Discussions: A Case Study PROCEEDINGS

, , Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia

Global Learn, in Penang, Malaysia ISBN 978-1-880094-79-2 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE)


A case study has been conducted in order to examine whether students who ‘lurk’ in online discussions engaged in their personal learning during the lurking process. The case study involved an observation, analysis of online discussions thread and two interviews with a student who was being labelled as a lurker. This article discussed the findings of the case study which found that although lurking is viewed as a negative action in online discussions, a lurker is considered highly engaged towards personal learning. A lurker does not necessarily a ‘free-rider’ in online discussions however the action can be seen as a learning strategy from a learner in making sense of the information in the online discussions and also preparing to contribute best ideas on the topics discussed. The findings resulted in exploring the individual approach and the possibilities arise from the findings to discover how individuals engaged in the learning process to enable personal learning.


Abu Ziden, A. & Fong, S.F. (2010). Lurking as Learning in Online Discussions: A Case Study. In Z. Abas et al. (Eds.), Proceedings of Global Learn 2010 (pp. 1872-1877). AACE.

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