The Distance from Isolation: Why Communities are the Logical Conclusion in E-Learning

The Distance from Isolation: Why Communities are the Logical Conclusion in E-Learning

Martin Weller (Institute of Educational Technology, Open University, United Kingdom)
Copyright: © 2006 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-488-0.ch010
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Abstract

This chapter argues that the Internet is built around key technology design featuresof openness, robustness, and decentralization. These design features have trans-formed into social features, which are embodied within the cultural values of theInternet. By examining applications that have become popular on the net, theimportance of these values is demonstrated. If e-learning is considered as a subsetof Internet activity, then the types of approaches that will be popular and mean-ingful for students will be those that appeal to these three core values. An exami-nation of online communities reveals that these approaches are indeed in keepingwith these values and provide a valuable learning experience. The community canbe seen as a natural conclusion in e-learning driven by the expectations of a gen-eration of learners who have been enculturated into the values of the Internet.

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