Children's participation patterns in online communities: An analysis of Israeli learners in the Scratch online community

Oren Zuckerman, Ina Blau, Andres Monroy-Hernandez


Online participation and content contribution are pillars of the Internet revolution and are core activities for younger generations online. This study investigated participation patterns, users contributions and gratification mechanisms, as well as the gender differences of Israeli learners in the Scratch online community. The findings showed that: (1) Participation patterns reveal two distinct participation types - "project creators" and "social participators", suggesting different users needs. (2) Community members gratified "project creators" and "social participators" for their investment – using several forms of community feedback. Gratification at the user level was given both to "project creators" and "social participators" – community members added them as friends. The majority of the variance associated with community feedback was explained by seven predictors. However, gratification at the project level was different for the two participation types - active "project creators" received less feedback on their projects, while active "social participators" received more. Project feedback positively correlated with social participation investment, but negatively correlated with project creation investment. A possible explanation is that community members primarily left feedback to their friends. (3) No gender differences were found in participation patterns or in project complexity, suggesting that Scratch provides similar opportunities to both genders in programming, learning, and participation.

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