The Electronic Journal of e-Learning provides perspectives on topics relevant to the study, implementation and management of e-Learning initiatives
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Journal Article

Collaborative On‑Line Teaching: The Inevitable Path to Deep Learning and Knowledge Sharing?  pp43-50

Karin Tweddell Levinsen

© Feb 2006 Volume 4 Issue 1, Editor: Shirley Williams, pp1 - 111

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Abstract

It is often stressed that the pedagogic models and approaches of Collaborative Online Learning support a learner's shared knowledge building within collaborating groups of learners, the individual construction of knowledge and the formation of an ongoing learning Community of Practice. Based on a recent case study of a Danish Master's programme, this paper will demonstrate that the emerging collaborative practice displays tendencies contrary to the generally accepted assumptions. The outcome is not only based on the models and their attributes, it is also affected by the emerging practice itself and the interaction among the participants during a course. From this perspective, it is relevant to look at which possibilities and obstacles teachers encounter when they try to detect slowly emerging tendencies that may lead to major misinterpretations of the subject matter and marginalize or even exclude students from participating in the learning Community of Practice. In conclusion, the case study will identify the slowly emerging tendencies that may be detected and observed at an early stage and thus indicate areas in on‑line learning environments that require special attention.

 

Keywords: Collaborative on-line learning, Knowledge construction, Communities of practice, Emerging practice, Proaction, e-Learning

 

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Journal Article

Developing the Communities of Practice, Framework for On‑Line Learning  pp133-140

Pam Moule

© Jan 2007 Volume 4 Issue 2, Editor: Shirley Williams, pp111 - 148

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Abstract

Doctoral research considered whether healthcare students were able to develop characteristics of Communities of Practice when engaged in an interprofessional online module. Using a case study approach the research included two phases. Within phase one a questionnaire was administered to the group of 109 healthcare students. These were analysed to gain information on which to base sampling for the subsequent phase. Phase two employed three strands of data collection; five students completed an online diary, the online interaction of seven students was captured on a discussion board and three students were interviewed. Data were analysed using a form of pattern matching. The results suggested students were able to develop the essential elements of Communities of Practice. This was not uniformly seen however, and particular issues emerged for the online community. This paper focuses on discussing the contribution of the research to the development of the Communities of Practice framework for online learning. The discussion will review the main findings of the research, showing how these have led to the development of the theory. It offers an augmented framework, in which the elements of mutual engagement, joint enterprise and shared repertoire are enhanced to include those facets necessary to support an online learning community. Finally, it is suggested that the augmented framework may have applicability to other professional groups engaging in online learning and working, with consideration given to how it might support e‑based communities.

 

Keywords: Online learning, communities of practice, higher education, case study research

 

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Journal Article

Developing Critically Thoughtful e‑Learning Communities of Practice  pp173-182

Philip L. Balcaen, Janine R. Hirtz

© Dec 2007 Volume 5 Issue 3, ICEL 2007, Editor: Shirley Williams, pp173 - 250

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Abstract

In this paper, we consider an approach to developing critically thoughtful e‑Learning communities of practice„where participants are deliberate about the use of specific intellectual tools supporting critical thinking. We address Garrison & Anderson's (2003) argument that such critical thinking should play a central role within the ecology of e‑ Learning communities and provide our view of what such communities might look like. To do this, we offer four categories of strategies helping to develop such communities„collaborative agreement on goals; facilitator(s) modelling and teaching the tools supporting critical thinking; and shaping communicative interactions within the e‑Learning environment to encourage thinking. We provide examples from a current study involving 36 kindergarten to grade 12 teachers' blended use of information and communication technologies (ICT) and face‑to‑face sessions to illustrate our view.

 

Keywords: critical thinking, communities of practice, tools for thought, e-Learning

 

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Journal Article

The eLIDA CAMEL Nomadic Model of Collaborative Partnership for a Community of Practice in Design for Learning  pp197-206

Jill Jameson

© Nov 2008 Volume 6 Issue 3, Editor: Shirley Williams, Laura Czerniewicz, pp161 - 254

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Abstract

A nomadic collaborative partnership model for a community of practice (CoP) in Design for Learning (D4L) can facilitate successful innovation and continuing appraisals of effective professional practice, stimulated by a 'critical friend' assigned to the project. This paper reports on e‑learning case studies collected by the UK JISC eLIDA CAMEL Design for Learning project, which implemented and evaluated learning design (LD) tools in higher and further education as part of the 2006‑07 JISC Design for Learning pedagogic e‑learning programme. Project partners carried out user evaluations on innovative tools with a learning design function, collecting D4L case studies and LD sequences in post‑16HE contexts using LAMS and Moodle. The project brought together learning activity sequences from post‑16HE partners into a collaborative e‑learning community of professional practice based on the CAMEL (Collaborative Approaches to the Management of e‑Learning) model, contributing to international D4L developments. This paper briefly provides an overview of key project output contributions to e‑learning innovations, including results from teacher and student evaluations using online surveys. The paper explores intentionality in the development of a community of practice in design for learning, reporting on trials of learning design and social software that bridged some of the tensions between formalised intra‑institutional e‑learning relationships and inter‑institutional project team dynamic D4L practitioner development. Following a brief report of practitioner D4L e‑learning case studies and student feedback, the catalytic role of the 'critical friend' is highlighted and recommended as a key ingredient in the successful development of a nomadic model of communities of practice in the management of professional e‑learning projects. eLIDA CAMEL Partners included the Association of Learning Technology (ALT), JISC infoNet, three universities and five FESixth Form Colleges. Results reported to the UK JISC Experts' Pedagogy Group demonstrated e‑learning innovations by practitioners in D4L case studies, illuminated by the role of the 'critical friend', Professor Mark Stiles of Staffordshire University. The project also benefited from case study evaluations by Dr Liz Masterman of Oxford University Learning Technologies Group and the leading work of ALT and JISC infoNet in the development of the CAMEL model.

 

Keywords: e-learning, communities of practice, collaboration, design for learning, JISC, case study

 

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Journal Article

ENTEL: A Case Study on Knowledge Networks and the Impact of Web 2.0 Technologies  pp385-395

Paul Griffiths, Teresita Arenas

© Jul 2014 Volume 12 Issue 4, Editor: Dr Rikke Ørngreen and Dr Karin Tweddell Levinsen, pp313 - 410

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Abstract

Abstract: This study re‑visits an organisation that defined its knowledge‑management strategy in 2008‑9 applying an established strategy‑intellectual capital alignment framework. It addresses questions How has knowledge management evolved at ENTEL, and w hat lessons can be learnt? Does the strategy‑knowledge management alignment framework applied at ENTEL in 2008‑9 still hold today?Ž The enquiry applies qualitative research in the form of a single case study, applying semi‑structured interviews and analy sing the evidence through coding at a phrase level. It arrives at some interesting findings, such as that leadership of communities of practice (COPs) is critical to their success, at least in the early stages of their implementation. Also that the inco rporation of generation Y (GY) into the workforce is changing the culture and openness to sharing knowledge, and thus accelerating the adoption of social networking (SN) tools, but the barriers to full deployment are still embedded in the older genera tion of senior and middle managers. Finally, it also emerges from the study that the paradigm by which organisations needed to choose between people‑driven and technology‑driven networks may no longer be valid: Due to changes in culture, to the need to sp eed up knowledge transfer, to the imperative for innovation and to the advent of low‑cost and low‑complexity SN technologies, organisations can make the most of both.

 

Keywords: Keywords: e-Learning, Web 2.0, Communities of Practice, Knowledge Management, Intellectual Capital

 

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Journal Article

Community in Online Higher Education: Challenges and Opportunities  pp188-198

Lily A. Arasaratnam-Smith, Maria Northcote

© May 2017 Volume 15 Issue 2, Editor: Rikke Ørngreen and Karin Levinsen, pp105 - 198

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Abstract

Exploring the challenges and opportunities associated with the concepts of community and communication in online higher education, this paper reconsiders the intention to replicate face‑to‑face learning and teaching strategies in online learning environments. Rather than beginning with the assumption that face‑to‑face education is the prototype for quality, the authors appraise the online learning environment as a unique medium which, by its nature, necessitates unique communication, community‑building, teaching and learning strategies. This paper proposes an in‑depth analysis of the potential unique affordances associated with online learning contexts as existing in their own right. The concepts of community and communication are explored in relation to online Communities of Practice (CoPs). The nature of face‑to‑face and online learning contexts are considered, especially in the light of the possibility of redefining “face‑to‑face” within the online realm, in addition to physical learning contexts. The paper identifies unique ways in which online communication (in the context of learning) is different from face‑to‑face communication, and consequently four ways in which this can be an advantage for students; namely, there is a measure of social egalitarianism, emphasis on verbal/written proficiency, time for reasoned response, and social agency. The paper provides grounding for further research into strategies that forge rich online learning experiences and suggests an empirical study as a next step.

 

Keywords: online community, Computer Mediated Communication (CMC), Communities of Practice (CoPs), nonverbal communication

 

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Journal Article

Exploring Virtual Opportunities to Enhance and Promote an Emergent Community of Practice  pp261-270

Kathy Courtney

© Feb 2008 Volume 5 Issue 4, e-Learning in Health Care, Editor: Pam Moule, pp251 - 304

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Abstract

This paper gives an account of an attempt by an educational developer to support and strengthen an emergent Community of Practice (CoP) (Wenger 1998a). This community consists of members of staff associated in different capacities with the Centre for Interprofessional e‑Learning (CIPeL), a Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL), based at Coventry University and Sheffield Hallam University. The support is specifically targeting CIPeL Secondees who are recruited to CIPeL on a part‑time basis, for the purpose of creating interprofessional Learning Objects (LOs). While Secondees receive individual support, there is little formal contact between Secondees. An online CIPeL Community site was created, in order to provide a space where CIPeL members could meet virtually and share problems and experiences relating to the construction of LOs. Initially, the key question appeared to be how online participation by members of the community could be encouraged. Using Wenger's (1998a) CoP theory of learning, and after exploring how the Community site was being used, the focus of attention shifts to an exploration of reified objects and the role they play in guiding practice, which in this case relates to the creation and use of interprofessional LOs. This in turns leads to the difficult question of how relevant reified objects may be identified and built, and it is advocated that existing CIPeL LOs should be exploited as reified objects for the purpose of guiding the construction of new LOs. It is felt that invoking constructs from Wenger's (1998a) CoP theory of learning has resulted in a more detailed picture of the nature of the challenges involved in moving from an emergent CoP to more established practice. The approach has simultaneously helped clarify how support for an emergent CoP might be more effectively focused. As a final point, it is suggested that it may be fruitful to explore parallels between CIPeL as an emergent CoP and interprofessional practice (IPP) itself, based on the view that IPP is also an emergent practice.

 

Keywords: Communities of practice, learning objects, interprofessional learning objects, Interprofessional Practice, community development support, Reified Objects

 

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Journal Article

Leadership in MMOGs: A Field of Research on Virtual Teams  pp223-234

Sofia Mysirlaki, Fotini Paraskeva

© Jul 2012 Volume 10 Issue 2, Special ECGBL Issue, Editor: Dimitris Gouscos, pp159 - 256

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Abstract

As our need for collaboration constantly grows, new tools have emerged to connect us in social networks, supporting the development of online communities, such as online games and virtual worlds. MMOGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Games) and MMORPGs ( Massively Multiplayer Online Role‑Playing Games) are complex systems, in which players are self‑organized and collaborate in guilds; constantly improve to remain competitive, visioning the enemys and guilds reaction. Nevertheless, these are considered to be important leadership skills for the real world, revealing multiple similarities that link the gaming world and the real world. However, despite the significant amount of educational research and the growing interest of the scientific community in MM OGs, there is a lack of empirical research considering the cognitive and social aspects of these games. This paper outlines the theoretical rationale behind a doctoral research project which is currently in progress and examines the leadership skills that can be developed in a self‑organized community of MMOGs. The main questions that this project attempts to address are: What characteristics related to the social nature of MMOGs activate leadership skills? What MMOGs can teach us about the design of succ essful online social spaces and activities for teaching leadership skills in virtual teams? In order to address these issues, this paper presents a theoretical framework for analyzing the social interactions in multiplayer games, within the context of com munity of practice, connectivism, self‑organization and activity theory. This framework aims at examining the creation of communities and the development of leadership skills in MMOGs, in order to explore the role of leadership in these virtual teams. The study of the social structures of a group and the leadership skills that can be developed in a MMOG should result to specific design principles that could be used as design methods for developing effective collaborative environments for virtual teams.

 

Keywords: MMOGs, MMORPGs, leadership, virtual teams, activity theory, connectivism, self-organization, communities of practice

 

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