Developing an Online Academic Community of Practice

Toneva, Katya and Cross, Iain and Scarrott, Martin (2013) Developing an Online Academic Community of Practice. In: COLLA 2013: The Third International Conference on Advanced Collaborative Networks, Systems and Applications, 21/7/2013, Nice, France.

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Constructivist approaches to learning suggest that learning within groups is more effective than individual learning. Communities of practice are an example of how individuals can unite around a common theme and collaboratively work together in order exploit the collective knowledge of the group members. Higher education professionals may find particular benefits of working within such communities due to the diverse nature of the profession and the wide knowledge and experience that can be found among their peers. At St Mary’s University College, London, U.K., a strong tradition of excellence in teaching and learning guides institutional strategies to enhance the learning experience for students. An online academic community of practice is being developed in order to heighten the dissemination of good practice among colleagues and improve the sense of community among staff. This paper describes the stages of the development process. It is argued that the developing community of practice is already improving collaboration and dissemination of good practice among St Mary’s staff. The key benefits are accessibility, interactivity and feeling of ownership. As the community evolves and matures, it is expected that knowledge sharing and collaboration will continue to increase, if the barriers that have been identified can be overcome successfully.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: 300 Social sciences > 378 Higher education
School/Department: Library Services
Depositing User: Jonathan Lucas
Date Deposited: 30 Jul 2013 08:56
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2017 08:38


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