Lurkers Versus Posters: Investigation of the Participation Behaviors in Online Learning Communities

  • Omid Reza Bolouki Speily
  • Alireza RezvanianEmail author
  • Ardalan Ghasemzadeh
  • Ali Mohammad Saghiri
  • S. Mehdi Vahidipour
Part of the Lecture Notes in Social Networks book series (LNSN)


Nowadays online learning communities (OLC) have been thought of as a great source of learning contents by many users in various areas such as online forums, question answering, and online social networks. Millions of posts are virally shared among different users in online social communities every day; however, different types of users deal with these posts in various ways in which, the users are divided into two categories: posters and lurkers. Lurker users join in an online community and watch other posts without performing any activities (or rarely activities). On the contrary, poster users actively participate in the creation and repost of information in online learning communities. The aim of this chapter is to investigate the lurking behaviors in educational networking or online communities in order to identify the factors influencing the participating behavior in such communities on social media. Therefore, first we introduce the role of online learning communities in educational networks and also present a bibliometric analysis. Then relevant theories and factors are reviewed, and a mathematical solution is proposed to increase the participation of learners in the transmission of information through reposting. The proposed solution encourage lurking learners to participate in content reposting. Comprehensive evaluations indicated that the proposed method had significantly solved the presented challenges.


Participation behavior Social networks Online learning communities Asynchronous learning Lurkers Posters Information reposting 



Educational networking


Educational social networks


Information and communications technology


Online learning communities


Online social network


Social network


Social network analysis


Social networking site


Uses and gratifications theory



This research was in part supported by a grant from IPM (No. CS1398-4-222).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Omid Reza Bolouki Speily
    • 1
  • Alireza Rezvanian
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Ardalan Ghasemzadeh
    • 1
  • Ali Mohammad Saghiri
    • 3
  • S. Mehdi Vahidipour
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Information Technology and Computer EngineeringUrmia University of TechnologyUrmiaIran
  2. 2.Department of Computer EngineeringUniversity of Science and CultureTehranIran
  3. 3.School of Computer Science, Institute for Research in Fundamental Sciences (IPM)TehranIran
  4. 4.Faculty of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Department of ComputerUniversity of KashanKashanIran

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