As other members of the group, I was kind of disappointed in this paper. I posted my notes here. I understand the usefulness of very deep studies of interaction, but I thought the sample size of one single group with three members seemed extremely small for anything but a pilot-study. And especially when they seem to make very strong statements, not warranted by the findings, such as:
We think the present findings point to a need to reconsider theories of community and group development when the context is completely online
Really? You think the present findings from three students point to a need to reconsider a huge amount of theories? (I'm not saying these theories shouldn't be rethought, but...).
The focus of inquiry also seemed very different from P2PU - students in a formal education situation, probably with very little exposure to Web 2.0 tools like wikis etc previously, being placed in a group by a teacher, and with a very scripted way of working, telling them exactly what steps to take as individuals, peer-to-peer (does this mean in pairs?) and in groups (page 8).
This seems to directly contradict
Completely online small groups are not bounded by time, space or even membership. They gravitate toward assigned teams, and negotiate time and place within those teams and across the larger community. They do this when they are ready, and not the first time they are asked to.
They also seem very focused on task performance, i.e how good a product the group can produce. There is no discussion about the correlation between this, and how much individual members of the group learn. (For example, a group where one strong student does all the work might have a better final product, than one in which every member strives to participate. Similar with all group members playing to their individual strengths rather than challenging themselves, etc).
On a positive note, I do appreciate the literature review aspects, there were a number of papers mentioned which I might want to look up.