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Pursuing the Elusive Metaphor of Community in Virtual Learning Environments
PROCEEDINGS

, University of Saskatchewan, Canada

EdMedia + Innovate Learning, in Honolulu, HI, USA ISBN 978-1-880094-73-0 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Waynesville, NC

Abstract

Social networking software sites are often mistakenly called learning communities, betraying a significant lack of agreement or concern for what actually constitutes a community. However, social networking sites are being used by teachers to engage students in dynamic ways, and by learners as vehicles for constructing their own, very personal learning environments and communities. This paper draws on lessons we have learned about building personal learning environments and virtual communities from our research and experience in formal and non-formal learning environments. It addresses the key questions of how can we construct, maintain and usher out communities, who joins communities, and what characteristics of communities seem to be shared across learning environments. The paper also questions whether the label “community” is actually a failed metaphor for something that seems to be much too dynamic and elusive to capture with a single construct.

Citation

Schwier, R.A. (2009). Pursuing the Elusive Metaphor of Community in Virtual Learning Environments. In G. Siemens & C. Fulford (Eds.), Proceedings of ED-MEDIA 2009--World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia & Telecommunications (pp. 3072-3082). Honolulu, HI, USA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved September 20, 2019 from .