Learning and Feeling of Belonging to a Virtual Group: The UOC Case

M. Prez-Mateo and M. Guitert (Spain)


Learning, social presence, feeling of belonging to a virtual group, and collaborative online learning.


The aim of this study, which started in the context of the Open University of Catalonia (UOC), is to analyze the relationship between the feeling of belonging to a virtual group and the learning that takes place as a consequence of the interaction within the group. With this goal, a qualitative study was carried out, based on observation, interviews, and on a questionnaire in the collaborative groups of a specific subject at the UOC: Digital Literacy. Overall, the results of this investigation show that the majority of the students of this specific subject have the feeling of belonging to the group. Besides, the students that felt themselves as part of the group considered that this fact had contributed positively to their learning. The study approaches the main elements that intervene in this relationship.

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