Distributed learning in groups is usually supported by computer-supported collaborative learning environments. Although these environments have the potential to facilitate working in groups, they often do not fulfill this potential because of their inability to provide a sound social space where social relationships exist and where a sense of cohesiveness and community is achieved. This article reports on the construction and validation of a self-reporting (Dutch-language) Social Space Scale. The raw Social Space Scale was launched in three different distance education courses from the Open Universiteit Nederland using two different computer-supported collaborative learning environments. Factor analysis revealed that the Social Space Scale has two interpretable factors which are identified as the Positive Group Behavior dimension and the Negative Group Behavior dimension. The raw Social Space Scale was refined thereby reducing the number of test items from 44 to 20; each dimension encompasses 10 items. The internal consistency was 81 for the total scale, 92 for the Positive Group Behavior dimension and 87 for the Negative Group Behavior dimension. A nomological network was used for further validation. The findings suggest that the Social Space Scale has potential to be useful as a measure for social space. However, it must be realized that this measure is a first step and further validation research is needed.
|Journal||Computers in Human Behavior|
|Publication status||Published - 2004|