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Lurkers, who are also known as silent learners, observers, browsers, read-only participants, vicarious learners, free-riders, witness learners, or legitimate peripheral participants (our preferred term), tend to be hard to track in a course because of their near invisibility. We decided to address this issue and to examine the perceptions that lurkers have of their behaviour by looking at one specific online learning course: CLMOOC. In order to do this, we used a mixed methods approach and collected our data via social network analysis, online questionnaires, and observations, including definitions from the lurkers of what they thought lurking was. We then analysed the data by using social network and content analyses and interpreted the research findings using the concept Community of Practice, with the Pareto Principle used to delimit types of learner. Our research findings revealed that lurking is a complex behaviour, or set of behaviours, and there isn’t one sole reason why lurkers act the ways that they do in their respective communities. We concluded that for a more participatory community the more active, experienced or visible community members could develop strategies to encourage lurkers to become more active and to make the journey from the periphery to the core of the community.


The aim of this paper is to analyse from the educational point of view which are the interactions between online and offline, starting from a set of values that contribute to the stability and functionality of the knowledge-based economy. There are four factors that allow the integration and sharing of values through online and offline interactions: organizational culture, digital technology, implementation of creative methodologies and digital transformation. In this respect, the interactions specific to systems based on open governance were analyzed. Interactions between online and offline are also very important in the educational process. For this reason, we introduced a new concept, called TOTO ("Teaching Online, Transfer Offline" ↔ "Transfer Offline, Teaching Online"). This slogan is meant to promote the acquisition and transfer of knowledge in the future. Particular importance was given to studying the effects of the interactions between Personal Online Learning Networks and Offline Learning Teams. Since social media is a common tool for most socio-economic activities, it has been considered necessary to carry out a case study on the interactions specific to this environment.