The good samaritan effect: A lens for understanding patterns of participation

Carla van de Sande, Gaea Leinhardt

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

We examine patterns of participation in an educational environment that exists solely for the purpose of providing help to those in distress. FreeMathHelp.com is a free, open, online homework help forum that is staffed by volunteers worldwide to help students to complete homework assignments in mathematics. We focus our attention on tutoring exchanges that concern related rates problems, a topic taught in introductory calculus that is often difficult for students. From social theory, the bystander effect has been used to explore online participation between members of a classroom. We propose a variant of the bystander effect in order to account for tutor participation patterns in online exchanges between anonymous participants. The Good Samaritan effect, named to capture the spirit of volunteers who come to the aid of strangers in distress, has four underlying mechanisms: self-awareness, social cues, blocking/inviting, and responsibility. The way each of these contributes to participation is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationComputer-Supported Collaborative Learning Conference, CSCL
Pages430-437
Number of pages8
EditionPART 2
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Perspectives in the Learning Sciences: Cre8ing a Learning World - 8th International Conference for the Learning Sciences, ICLS 2008 - Utrecht, Netherlands
Duration: Jun 23 2008Jun 28 2008

Other

OtherInternational Perspectives in the Learning Sciences: Cre8ing a Learning World - 8th International Conference for the Learning Sciences, ICLS 2008
CountryNetherlands
CityUtrecht
Period6/23/086/28/08

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Education

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  • Cite this

    van de Sande, C., & Leinhardt, G. (2008). The good samaritan effect: A lens for understanding patterns of participation. In Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning Conference, CSCL (PART 2 ed., pp. 430-437)