Creator of Knowledge
Information Resources Management Association
Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations

Online Learning Community

Online Learning Community
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Author(s): Michelle M. Kazmer (Florida State University, USA)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 6
Source title: Encyclopedia of Distance Learning, Second Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Patricia L. Rogers (Bemidji State University, USA), Gary A. Berg (California State University Channel Islands (Retired), USA), Judith V. Boettcher (Designing for Learning, USA), Caroline Howard (HC Consulting, USA), Lorraine Justice (Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong) and Karen D. Schenk (K. D. Schenk and Associates Consulting, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-198-8.ch219


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The study and implementation of online learning communities emerges from two approaches related to the idea of “community.” The first approach was how people began to think about learning community, but not restricted to online settings. Learning community incorporates the idea of a cohesive, collaborative culture among members with the purpose of supporting individual learning by facilitating shared knowledge creation. The idea of a learning community, and its importance for improving learning, pre-dated most online learning, and the focus was on building communitiesto support learning regardless of setting. The second approach was that people began to inquire whether it was possible to build community online, but not for purposes restricted to learning. The idea that true community was possible via computer-mediated communication (CMC) was, and still is, contentious. However, as the years have passed since this question first emerged, the idea that community can be formed online has been increasingly accepted.

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