Cats in the classroom
First Monday

Cats in the classroom: Online learning in hybrid space by Michelle M. Kazmer

Students and professors create a shared on–campus classroom environment through individual and collaborative contributions. Similar contributions go into the design of an online classroom. Online instructors build the learning environment to create a shared learning experience, and designers of course management software reinforce this consistency. Examining the online classroom as "hybrid space" — comprising physical and online space — reveals a more complex reality than a seamless learning environment. Students and instructors share a learning experience, but they also occupy local environments that influence their learning and indirectly influence the experience of everyone in the online class.


Blending the virtual and the real
Current data and analysis
Discussion: Online classroom as hybrid place
Conclusion: Hybrid space affords a better place





As my Internet connection went down in my online class tonight, it occurred to me that I didn’t mention such an occurrence as a problem with the technology of distance education, but it is one that has happened to me a number of times. I then conjured all sorts of images of a face to face class in which students randomly evaporate, spontaneously combust, teleport, or some such physical iteration of the downing of the Internet connection ... but I couldn’t come up with an equitable situation that might feasibly exist in day–to–day reality. (Dana, CI–FSU student)

Professors and students make individual and collaborative contributions to create the environment in an online classroom. These contributions include the clothes they wear, food they bring, media they use, interaction they engage in, lectures they deliver and listen to, and homework they assign, complete, submit, grade and return. Classrooms also have persistent physical characteristics like carpet, chairs, paint color, technology, lighting, and smell. There is some certainty that each participant in class experiences the same room — we all know the professor is wearing the same pants she wore last week, the lecture is lucid, someone in the second row is doing the crossword puzzle, the atmosphere is charged with intellectual electricity, and the carpet is ugly.

The environment of an online classroom is shaped by similar contributions. Online instructors build the learning environment by controlling variables such as how materials are presented, the kinds of interaction allowed, and customization of the interface. By shaping the learning environment, professors usually intend to direct all students to consistent learning outcomes and provide a shared learning experience. Such consistency is reinforced by the designers of course management software, who try to provide a functional and seamless interface to course materials and learning practices.

Viewing the online classroom as a "hybrid space" including both physical and online space shows something more complex than a consistent, seamless learning environment. Each student and instructor is involved in a shared learning experience, but all students and instructors are also lodged in idiosyncratic local environments that shape their experiences and indirectly shape the experience of everyone else in the virtual classroom.



Blending the virtual and the real

The approach taken in this paper to understanding how individuals’ physical settings become part of a shared online space is apparently not common, particularly with respect to adult learners. Some existing research explores the use of interactive technologies by children situated in familiar physical locations (Facer, et al., 2004). Much work in the last several years focuses on how mobile technologies allow virtual spaces to form in constantly mutating physical environments as participants move about (Agre, 2001; Churchill and Munro, 2001; de Souza e Silva, 2004; see also Schwabe and Goth, 2005). De Souza e Silva exemplifies this point by arguing that nomadic interactive technologies allow virtual communities to occupy physical spaces. Her conclusion, developed by examining changing physical environments, is relevant to the argument being made in this paper about the influence of the physical on the virtual: "mobile interfaces make us aware of the importance of physicality when dealing with digital spaces" [1]. As shown below, fixed–location interfaces also allow physical aspects to become part of digital spaces. As well, distance learners are also nomadic, using laptops in many locations to attend online class.

Work spaces and technology practices

In contrast with the small amount of literature addressing how physical settings become part of shared online space, empirical and theoretical work in the general area of interactions between technology and physical places has generated an extensive literature. A thorough review of this general area is beyond the scope of this paper. The bulk of such literature addresses the effect of technology on a physical workspace rather than vice versa (Zuboff, 1988; Orlikowski, 1992a; Bowker, et al., 1997; Orlikowski, 2000). When focus is directed to the effect of workspace on technology it is often from the perspective of system design or adoption. For example, some researchers and designers complete workplace ethnographies (another field whose overall literature is enormous and beyond the scope of this paper) and intend to use the findings to improve system design (Bentley, et al., 1992; Hughes, et al., 1994; Luff, et al., 2000). Or, some researchers perform workplace ethnographies to understand why technology is not appropriated or is appropriated in unintended ways (Nardi and Miller, 1991; Heath and Luff, 1992; Orlikowski, 1992b). The focus of this paper is how the physical environments of each individual become part of each individual’s experience of the shared online environment and part of all participants’ experiences of the shared online environment for learning.

Systems to support blending the virtual and real

Research and design work in the field of computer–supported cooperative work (CSCW) has addressed interaction between virtual and physical workspaces. Two primary concepts associated with virtual/physical interaction and the ability of individuals to act appropriately with useful knowledge of one another are awareness (Dabbish and Kraut, 2004; Jones, et al., 2004) and translucence (Erickson and Kellogg, 2000).

Often, CSCW design approaches to virtual–physical interaction involve supporting awareness or translucence by making the physical environs of each participant explicitly and literally visible to all participants. Some systems accomplish this by showing not only the people but also their environs through actual, e.g., photographic, or symbolic, e.g., iconic or verbal, representations. Some example systems range from fairly early projects such as CRUISER (Root, 1988), RAVE (Gaver, et al., 1992), and Portholes (Dourish and Bly, 1992), to newer systems like TeamSCOPE (Steinfeld, et al., 1999), Babble (Erickson, et al., 1999), and Loops (Halverson, et al., 2003). Most of these design projects support work teams or groups, although there are educational systems such as Viras (Prasolova–Forland and Divitini, 2003). The blending of the virtual and the real even penetrated the commercial world when Sony added the /pizza function to Everquest II — a widely–reported action that according to Sony was the first in a series of such functions (Svensson, 2005).

Hybrid space, hybrid place

Blending the virtual and the real brings us to the idea of a hybrid space as per Harrison and Dourish [2]: "one which comprises both physical and virtual space." Harrison and Dourish argued for "place" as a better concept than "space" as a design model for collaborative and communicative environments. In line with their arguments, the online classroom exists as a place for all students in their hybrid spaces. Hybrid spaces occupied by each student provide the area in which they co–create their learning place, the online classroom. Mainstream online course management systems (such as Blackboard) are not designed like the systems mentioned above specifically to facilitate social awareness or translucence. Students occupy their physical spaces and co–create an online learning place in hybrid space even without such systematic support. This co–creation of hybrid space is made more obvious as we follow the conclusion of Harrison and Dourish that the same space can be different places at different times. Thus a student who logs into the class chatroom from her home computer when no one else is in the chatroom is in the same hybrid space but not the same place, because the classroom place is shaped by the shared understandings of the students and instructor to frame appropriate behavior [3].

Adults learning in the online programs

To think about hybrid spaces and online classroom as place necessitates thinking about what the space is used for to make it a classroom. It is not the kind of online place where people primarily engage in play, or social interaction, or even work. Rather, students (especially at the graduate level, as studied here) build knowledge — which is interactive and is work, but which also involves a specific kind of mental effort, a spark of creativity, and an ethos that holds the "life of the mind" as a core value, features not always associated with product–driven collaborative work. If we assume Jeff Malpas is correct when he argues in his work on telepistemology [4], "knowledge, even in the context of the Internet, is fundamentally tied to place and to our active engagement in place," the co–creation of knowledge by distributed people sharing a virtual place must be tied to their virtual place and their physical locales.

Earlier studies of LEEP and CI–FSU

To focus the discussion of hybrid space on the education settings examined for this paper requires a brief examination of research topics and processes. Prior research conducted on the LEEP distance education option at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign (, has explored issues of community building (Haythornthwaite, et al., 2000); managing multiple social worlds (Kazmer and Haythornthwaite, 2001); disengagement (Kazmer, in press–a); persistent conversation (Bregman and Haythornthwaite, 2001); and collaborative work (Haythornthwaite, 1999), among others (see also Haythornthwaite and Kazmer, 2004). Two researchers have focused on issues of place in the LEEP online environment. Jenny Robins (2002) described the persistent structures that allow social navigation in the LEEP place. Christine Jenkins (2004), working primarily from the perspective of instructors, described LEEP space as a Bakhtinian ludic space. Prior research from the online MS program at the College of Information at Florida State University (CI–FSU; includes an analysis of the pedagogy of the program [5] and of differences in the educational processes of adult distance learners compared with on–campus students (Logan, et al., 2002).



Current data and analysis

The research projects used for this examination of hybrid space were conducted from 1998 through 2002, and in 2005. The first study, designed to explore community building, was conducted with LEEP students in 1998–1999. Researchers collected data using semi–structured interviews with 17 students four times over one academic year. Those data were collected and analyzed according with grounded theory methodology (Strauss, 1987; Strauss and Corbin, 1998; see also Haythornthwaite, et al., 2000, and Kazmer and Haythornthwaite, 2001, for more details on data collection and analysis).

One important feature of community building that emerged from the first study was the dismantling of community through a disengagement process. The second study was designed to explore disengagement and was conducted in 2001–2002. This study also used grounded theory and semi–structured interviews, but the research participants were LEEP students near the time of their graduation from the program. Twenty–five students were interviewed twice, before and after graduation; five students were interviewed once to provide initial data on post–graduation experiences (see Kazmer, 2002, and Kazmer, in press–a for more details). In the 2005 study of CI–FSU for which this represents the first report of empirical results, the first round of data collection with 43 participants is designed to refine the model of disengaging created in the 2001–2 study. As well, the data collection instrument explores the interaction between classes, technology, and work and home settings.

As described above, this examination of hybrid space is based on data collected from students in two different distance learning programs. Here we describe the specifics of each program, identifying the important aspects of program structure and content delivery needed to get a picture of the students’ experiences. These aspects are important because they help the reader understand the pedagogical circumstances under which findings of the research may and may not hold.

Students in the Illinois LEEP program start in a cohort of 30 to 50 students at an on–campus orientation, known as "boot camp." Students in the CI–FSU program are not cohorted and attend orientation online. LEEP students come to campus once per semester throughout the program. CI–FSU students can complete the degree without ever coming to campus. In both programs, classes are delivered via a combination of synchronous and asynchronous interactions including synchronous chat, asynchronous threaded discussions, and e–mail.



Discussion: Online classroom as hybrid place

Grounded analysis of the whole corpus of interviews has shown students in these distance learning programs do not simply participate in activities and use technology; rather (among other things mentioned above), they constitute the learning environment in a hybrid space (Harrison and Dourish, 1996). The idea of space in the online environment emerged in this research when it became clear the social worlds perspective (Strauss, 1978; see also Clarke, 1991) was an appropriate one from which to examine the shared experiences of online learners. In social worlds, members communicate with one another, and they share activities, technology, and space. Understanding how online programs provided shared space was necessary to social world analyses, and the concept of hybrid space contributes to that understanding. The key characteristics of the online classroom as hybrid space are: students occupy online space at the same time they are occupying and engaging with their local physical space; and the circumstances of their physical surroundings shape the shared online space.

The quotes from interviews included in this section demonstrate how actual participants spoke about their online experiences, and were selected because they exemplify sentiments expressed by other participants as well (i.e., they were selected precisely for their ordinariness, rather than for uniqueness). Quotes are identified by the pseudonym of the participant who made the statement. Pseudonyms reflect the gender of the participant. Parentheses within quotes were provided by research participants, while square brackets indicate explanations or substitutions provided by the researcher for clarity or anonymity.

Where are the students?

To understand the hybrid space of online learning, it is helpful to identify the various places students occupy. All students have places where they are physically located when they participate in school activities, and this is most often home or work. The home space is often problematic; students battle with family members for a quiet place in which to work, and for uninterrupted use of the computer. Participants describe this in various terms, but the theme is consistent, as indicated by one graduate and one student of the CI–FSU program:

"Sometimes I did my writing in my office at work on Saturdays when I needed some peace and quiet (away from my family)." (Tess, CI–FSU graduate)

"Usually I work at home when I get home from work, and after my kids have been put to bed." (Vern, CI–FSU student)

Students are often frustrated when they try to establish barriers between "uninterruptible" synchronous class time and "interruptible" asynchronous school work, because to family members it all looks the same: the student is sitting in front of the computer. The home space also affords students the ability to perform other unrelated tasks (e.g. laundry, child care) while they are in classes. As Tess (CI–FSU graduate) expresses it:

"I have two school–age children and a husband who is not always home in the evening, so many times I was a bit stretched and didn’t have time to check boards before class chat sessions. (Although I got very proficient at checking during class too, as well as eating and performing other tasks — things I shouldn’t have done but did anyway in the interests of time!)."

The work space can be equally problematic. Some employers are supportive and flexible about what constitutes time–on–task for student–workers. Other workplaces do not enjoy the same flexible options, and students there must be circumspect about doing school work only in official off–hours.

Students in the LEEP and CI–FSU programs often already work in the field in which they are earning the master’s degree. Therefore many students create synergies between tasks at work and tasks in school and take advantage of being in two places at once by doing school tasks while they are at work (Kazmer and Haythornthwaite, 2001). However, work is also susceptible to issues of interruptibility and multitasking found at home — colleagues may be no more tractable than family members when it comes to defining "interruptible" activities. Work settings are also susceptible to some prosaic problems associated with attending face–to–face classes, as demonstrated by this CI–FSU graduate who sometimes attempted to return to her work setting to do schoolwork:

"I primarily did my schoolwork at home. I tried more than once to study and work in the University library, but because of its design it was too noisy, and the computers were always crowded. I only went there if I absolutely had to. Especially on weekdays, parking was a nightmare too." (Elmira, CI–FSU graduate)

As might be expected, distance learners take advantage of the ability afforded by distance learning and wireless Internet access to use locations away from home and work. Two favorite types of establishment are bookstores and coffee shops. One student studies at a bookstore that is also a familiar, established place for him to do schoolwork:

"I often try to go to Barnes and Noble to do my work on my laptop. That’s where I studied throughout my undergraduate days, and by far the best place I’ve ever found to study." (Vern, CI–FSU student)

A graduate of the CI–FSU program says she studies at a coffee shop (and brings up the familiar issue of cats in the online classroom):

"I did schoolwork in three places: 1) at home, 2) at the public library, 3) at my local Panera’s coffee shop. All three have wireless access. I need a change of scenery sometimes, and I get sick of my cats trying to sit on my computer all the time." (Nettie, CI–FSU graduate)

Student expectations for the learning experience

In both distance learning programs students use past experiences of school in general, and the program in particular, to shape their expectations about and experiences in the online environment. LEEP students, during their periodic campus visits, occupy the graduate school building at the university. This physical space is associated with their first experience with the school, and is where students bonded initially and meet regularly. When LEEP students are not on campus, which is most of the time, the shared learning experiences they had on–campus during "boot camp" influence how they support one another and work together on class activities online. For the CI–FSU students, even though they do not (necessarily) visit FSU’s campus, past experiences of school–as–place provide a touchstone for students’ expectations of what their virtual school environment will be like (Glaser and Strauss, 1971). As one graduate explains in this exchange between interviewer and participant, some things about school remain consistent across face–to–face and online settings:

Interviewer: "What have been your biggest surprises in using the technology to do this degree?"

Participant: "That teachers are still able to control students virtually." (Nathan, CI–FSU graduate)

Based on past experiences, students bring expectations about social and academic norms in a classroom, and specific activities undertaken by the actors in a classroom. One student indicates that her expectations for what should and should not happen in her personal environment depend on the online activity at hand and on how much concentration each activity requires for her to meet the expectations of others:

"My chat sessions are held in my bedroom, usually with my two boys running around. The phone is turned off, but the television is left on as a distraction for the kids. [...] Homework is usually done at the dining room table when the kids fall asleep." (Bianca, CI–FSU student)

Students know a classroom comprises of a set a physical artifacts as well. In many ways, the online classroom is likely to seem like a "real" classroom because all the students act as if it is a classroom. As well, sharing the same software in an online classroom creates an illusion of sameness — we are all in our online classroom together when we chat, IM, MOO, and videoconference. When we are all together in this online classroom, we share an experience. Eventually, the shared experience leads to expectations of "normal" classroom activities that would not seem normal based on face–to–face classroom experience, as shown in this statement (and in the quote from Dana at the beginning of the paper):

"We’ve all experienced the occasional ‘blip’ in the chat sessions where we get booted offline, and then try and try to get back into class." (Selie, CI–FSU student)

But this illusion of sameness is in some ways just that — an illusion. The reality revealed when we look through the lens provided by the concept of hybrid space is heterogeneous indeed.

Students in their hybrid place

The last component that contributes to the hybrid place of online learning is the virtual school space on the Internet. Course Web sites, chat rooms, and discussion boards exist as virtual places students go to by logging in using a browser and password and participate in by reading and posting. Students then shape this technological virtual space into a hybrid space precisely because they are doing school tasks while they are also at home or work. The online classroom becomes a place existing in hybrid space for individual students, who conceive of the classroom place as also incorporating their own physical locations. So, for example, a student who primarily "does school" at home conceives of the online classroom place as needing to be protected from interruptions of children, somewhat like a kitchen during meal preparation. Three students indicate the kinds of distractions that influence their decisions about where school can be, and show that moving around can be the best solution:

"It’s usually split between home and work. I do the reading at home, but I go to [work] after hours, especially on Sun. afternoons to use the Internet (a T1 connection there, dial–up at home) and even to write papers. If I am at home, I will clean the oven before I will sit down to write a paper!" (Mona, CI–FSU student)

"I migrate throughout the house. I have a laptop with a wireless network capability so I go to whatever part of the house is least messy (housework is low on my list of things to do also). I tend to work in the living room or the exercise room (which is at the other end of the house from the T.V., stereo, etc.). I have an indoor fountain that I turn on when I’m doing homework. That helps reduce noise distractions. I don’t like to be away from my dogs when I’m doing homework, but if I sit in the living room to do my homework, they sit there and stare at me, waiting to go for a walk." (Earlene, CI–FSU student)

"I bought a laptop so I could work wherever it was quiet." (Lara, CI–FSU grad)

Students who do school at work conceive of the online classroom place as an extension of the office, providing more colleagues with whom to interact about work projects or an environment naturally conducive to thinking about work. Two CI–FSU students provide examples of this:

"At work, I am more focused ... too many distractions at home." (Mona, CI–FSU student)

"There have been several times when I’ve had to attend either class or a group meeting while staffing the reference desk, but this is also a flexibility that d.e. [distance education] provides which in–person classes do not offer." (Warren, CI–FSU student)

In addition, the online program as a whole becomes hybrid space for the whole online learning community as students co–construct shared school space, using mutual understanding of cues from individual locales. As a simple example, online students know their online chat room often includes lines of accents graves produced by students’ cats and/or babies. As this student from the CI–FSU program points out, norms of communication speed and the flow of synchronous interaction can be met using either technology solutions (faster connections) or personal solutions (typing faster):

"And, I still use dial–up! I can type faster than most people and that compensates for the dial–up speed in chat. I plan on getting DSL, but just haven’t gotten around to it, because it involves other decisions like bundling the other phone programs or maybe getting cable modem … etc. etc." (Idina, CI–FSU student)

The online school becomes a space where students can access knowledge from a variety of workplaces. The small lone office occupied by one student is "right next door" to the busy public service counter occupied by another. The hybrid space of knowledge sharing is governed by norms based, for example, on whose computer is in a private location and whose is not; a more solemn online discourse sometimes prevails for a class as a whole if several members cannot laugh out loud in their physical locations.

Getting there, being here

From the perspective of the individual student, the computer desktop becomes not just the door to the online classroom but rather a boundary object between the physical location and the virtual one. If it acted simply as a door, the student could open the door by logging in, and see the standard representation of the classroom (a software interface through a Web browser, for example). Students do log in and see the standard representation, but students can also manipulate things on the screen. Students can move their taskbars to any edge of the screen, hide the list of participants from themselves, change the color of the room, and so on — no matter how much is supposed to be standardized, students can adapt the representation on their computers. This graduate from the CI–FSU program found that having to use an unfamiliar computer for class one night highlighted the extent to which her computer had become part of her learning experience:

"It felt odd just because it wasn’t my customary place. Also, I wasn’t sure if the technology was going to work right (the place I was working only had AOL as an Internet provider and I wasn’t sure how the i–chat was going to work with that), so I was anxious about that — and just the computer was different — the keyboard ‘clicks’ differently, the icons are in a different place on the desktop, that sort of thing. But it was my parents’ house, so I wasn’t uncomfortable in the place itself." (Delia, CI–FSU graduate)

Personalization and familiarity with one’s own computer in turn influences what each student contributes to the knowledge building of the class. For example, hiding the list of participants makes it easier for some students to speak freely because they are not reminded of the size of the online audience. A student who chooses to suppress pop–up private messages from classmates can reduce interruptions for himself, but also be left out of important side conversations devoted to fact–checking or emotional support. All individuals thus shape their own and therefore everyone’s experience just by making changes on the screen using the tools at hand (e.g., the keyboard and mouse), even if we do not consider for the moment the other physical environs [6].

Of course personalization extends to the whole physical environment of the student. Personalization is more helpful to the individual and less obtrusive to the group than it would be in a physically co–located classroom. The person who needs a left–handed desk, the person who prefers to sit on the floor, the person who likes to listen to music, can all be satisfied with minimal explicit interference to other students in the learning environment. Contrast these two students, and imagine them trying to find a mutually comfortable working environment without the benefits of hybrid space:

"I don’t have the TV on, I don’t have the radio on, these are things I’ve decided to not have in my life during this time because I’m too distracted when I have had them on." (Hillary, LEEP graduate)

"I keep my work area pretty dusky. No bright lights, and always with something talking in the background, like a TV or radio, that I am not paying attention to. It bothers me when it is too quiet." (Cici, CI–FSU graduate)

In other words, allowing personalization may standardize the learning experience by allowing each individual to achieve the same level of comfort with the setting. Sometimes this does not work, as reported by this CI–FSU student who describes how technology influences her learning processes:

"I have an "old–fashioned" monitor (not one of the slim, nice new ones) that takes up a lot of room on my own desk, so it’s hard to read anything here. The size of the monitor also makes it a little hard to take notes in class, if I’m also using a textbook or working from other notes or printouts." (Fiona, CI–FSU student)

By the hybrid space argument being made here, that changes at the individual level cause changes at the group level, interference in the group experience by such personalization is possible. In one example, a student who preferred to drink alcohol during class overindulged, and made inappropriate posts to the class chat. Or, more correctly, that was the group assessment of what happened; it is possible the student was feigning intoxication so as to speak openly, but this can happen in a face–to–face classroom as well.

One odd footnote to the creation of the hybrid space of the LEEP program: when LEEP students are at the physical campus for their semesterly visits they are exclusively at school, not immediately subject to the physical places of home or work. Yet, they are simultaneously out of the LEEP hybrid space. When they are away from campus, school is experienced almost solely through the LEEP hybrid space; when they are on campus, LEEP space sits almost deserted and is re–occupied only when the students return home. Julia’s description here of preparation for an on–campus visit demonstrates that students know their online connection needs to be used prior to their trip:

"Right before we were getting ready for an on–campus, you know, we would all e–mail each other, this is where I’m staying, let’s get together for this or that, and so we would." (Julia, LEEP graduate)

The space online students share is a hybrid space. It is not only built with technological tools, but also incorporates each student’s physical locale into individual and shared conceptions of online learning space. All students can avail themselves of a more comfortable learning environment and in turn perhaps improve shared knowledge creation among the whole class.



Conclusion: Hybrid space affords a better place

Some students and teachers bemoan the loss of face–to–face interaction in the shared space of a physical classroom. Participants in this research frequently hasten to add they do not want multi–user live video to recreate the shared space. Distance learners we interviewed are accustomed to presenting themselves via text and reluctant to give up the freedom that comes with not being seen (see also Bregman and Haythornthwaite, 2001). Rather than trying to recreate the standardized, shared experience of a face–to–face classroom, it is appropriate to embrace the customization of space allowed by online environments. By embracing customization, we allow students to adapt their individual spaces to maximize their own comfort. Students can sit in comfortable chairs, wear pajamas, eat dinner, and let the cat walk on the keyboard.

By thinking of the online classroom as a place students and instructor co–create in a hybrid space, we realize such customizations have a positive effect on students’ shared learning experience. The shared experience is affected in two ways. First, all students interpret the shared experience through the filters of their local environs, which in turn shapes their contributions to the knowledge building of the class [7]. Second, there are "direct effects," such as shared laughter when a cat types, or the concern and caring that emerge when students have trouble staying connected due to problems with ISPs or local weather.

Thinking of an online classroom as a shared place created in hybrid space lets us break away from the idea that the classroom has to be a uniform experience. It is not necessary for all of us to look at the same ugly carpet to create knowledge together successfully. End of article


About the author

Michelle M. Kazmer is an Assistant Professor in the College of Information at Florida State University. Her research focuses on distributed knowledge building and information sharing.
E–mail: kazmer [at] ci [dot] fsu [dot] edu.



Thanks to the researchers involved in the original LEEP project, Caroline Haythornthwaite, Jenny Robins, and Susan Shoemaker; to the University of Illinois Research Board and Graduate College and to the Florida State University College of Information for support; and to the LEEP students and the CI–FSU students without whose extraordinary generosity the research would not have been possible.



1. De Souza e Silva, 2004, para. 16.

2. Harrison and Dourish, 1996, p. 72.

3. Harrison and Dourish, 1996, p. 73.

4. Malpas, 2000, p. 110.

5. Burnett, et al., 2003, pp. 42–46.

6. See also Malpas, 2000, p. 116.

7. Kazmer, in press–b; see also Malpas, 2000, p. 124.



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Editorial history

Paper received 12 July 2005; accepted 24 August 2005.
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Cats in the classroom: Online learning in hybrid space by Michelle M. Kazmer
First Monday, volume 10, number 9 (September 2005),

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