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Research Methods for Studying Groups and Teams by Marshall Scott Poole, Andrea Hollingshead

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11

INTERVIEWING MEMBERS OFONLINE COMMUNITIES

A Practical Guide to Recruiting Participants

Amy Bruckman

GEORGIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

In an interview study of members of an online community, one of the most daunting tasks is finding people who are willing to talk to you – and doing so ethically. Since 1997, I have taught a Georgia Tech class called “Design of Online Communities,” in which students are assigned to interview at least three members of an online group and also engage in participant observation. The class began at the graduate level, and now is offered to undergraduates as well. Teams of three students study the same site and write up a detailed account of its design. The goal of the assignment is, first, to help students understand ...

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