Creating learning connections via an online community of practice : a case study.

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Vo, Darcy
Pham, Truman
Parsons, David
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Conference Contribution - Paper in Published Proceedings
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Digital and Collaborative Learning (The Mind Lab : Unitec Institute of Technology)
Unitec courses
communities of practice
teacher education
collaborative learning
Vo, D., Pham, T., & Parsons, D. (2016, October). Creating learning connections via an online community of practice : a case study. Cath Fraser, Heather Hamerton, Clarke Raymond, Jon Sadler & Kate Shanaghan (Ed.), Making Connections – Whanaungatanga Proceedings of the 2016 National Tertiary Learning and Teaching Conference (pp.17 - 22). ISBN 9780473401375
The Digital and Collaborative Learning postgraduate programme of The Mind Lab by Unitec not only provides teachers with transformational approaches to 21st‐century learning, but also with opportunities to create connections with those who teach different student age groups, are from different teaching disciplines, or are from different regions of the country. More than 600 teachers from the four annual cohorts studied in this research provide a substantial pool of knowledge and practice to be tapped into. To realise this potential, we have sought to foster an online community of practice for the teachers to engage in learning and social interactions. A community of practice embodies a: shared domain, with mutual interest in transforming teaching practice via digital and collaborative learning; shared practice; and a shared community. Structured online interactions create a dynamic sense of engagement for members. A Google+ Community provides the online platform for the teachers to share their reflective practice. Our research questions centre around what impacts the online community of practice might have on participant learning. This paper presents an analysis of a survey of current students as well as alumni. The findings should provide insights for online course designers into how to effectively foster online communities of practice.
Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology (Rotorua, N.Z.)
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© Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology 2017
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