Finally, my masters research out as a journal article :-)
Ferguson, R. (2010). Peer interaction: the experience of distance students at university level. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 26(6), pp. 574–584.
Learning is increasingly seen as a transformative process which takes place in a social setting (Mezirow 2000). This active view of learning focuses on how people learn together in different groups, including communities of inquiry, communities of interest, and communities of practice (Wenger 1998; Lipman 2003; Jones & Preece 2006). Socio-cultural researchers have demonstrated that thinking and learning together are related processes shaped by culture and context (Wells & Claxton 2002; Mercer 2004; Mercer & Littleton 2007). From this perspective, interaction, in the sense of a ‘sustained two-way communication among two or more persons for purposes of explaining and challenging perspectives’, is inextricably linked with learning; ‘without critical interaction there is no way to facilitate critical learning’ (Garrison 1993, pp. 14 and 16)