INTERNET AND HIGHER EDUCATION, vol.44, 2020 (SSCI)
Lurkers, or as defined in this research, Legitimate Peripheral Participants (LPPs), have been a fundamental aspect of online communities and more research is needed to better understand them. This paper, therefore, examines lurkers in a mixed-method study through the lenses of Transactional Distance, Interaction Types, and Self-Determination Theory and aims to identify their defining features. The findings show that the degree of engagement of any particular LPP is influenced by different aspects of distance and interaction. Time, as an external factor, and lack of interest, as an internal factor, emerge to be the most influential considerations; but a combination of these factors can also lead learners to be an LPP. Characteristic words to define LPPs seem to be ones that have positive connotations and indicate that LPPs learn through less active and visible methods than other learners.