Facilitating Connected Knowing Through Virtual Learning Communities

Facilitating Connected Knowing Through Virtual Learning Communities

Holly McCracken (The University of Illinois at Springfield, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-965-1.ch307


Generally believed critical to facilitating multi-dimensional instructional experiences for participants in a range of educational environments (for example, as accessed through academic institutions, corporate staff development, professional organizations, and so forth), the use of learning communities as an important instructional method is widely recognized across academic disciplines, teaching approaches, and delivery media. In fact, Lave and Wenger (in McPherson & Nunes, 2004) argued that learning is, by nature, an activity by which one engages knowledge in many forms, through which one becomes a “member of the community of knowledge” (p. 305). As such, communication, collaboration, and interaction become essential methods in facilitating instructional partnerships. Extending beyond a social context, the ongoing relationship building, advising, and mentoring generated through participation in learning communities provide a foundation for continued cognitive development and knowledge construction (Rovai, 2002; Wegerif, 1998).

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