Title: Designing, managing and assessing a Web 2.0 learning community to enhance inquiry based learning

Authors: Giustina Secundo, Francesca Grippa

Addresses: e-Business Management Section of Scuola Superiore, ISUFI – University of Salento via per Monteroni, Zip Code 73100, Lecce, Italy. ' e-Business Management Section of Scuola Superiore, ISUFI – University of Salento via per Monteroni, Zip Code 73100, Lecce, Italy

Abstract: This paper develops understanding of how to design, manage and assess learning environments in which traditional and Web 2.0 technologies are integrated to improve the overall learning experience. To provide preliminary evidence, we designed an integrated model of a web based learning community (WBLC), comprising the following components: learning actors (learners, stakeholders, mentors, tutors, staff); learning processes (abstract conceptualisation, active experimentation, reflective observation and concrete experience); learning modes (inquiry based learning) and learning tools (wiki, blog, folksonomies) together with a learning dashboard (social network analysis, knowledge creation, learning satisfaction, IT adoption). The application of the model to the community of an international Master|s programme provided evidence of the potential benefits of the model. Preliminary results suggest that Web 2.0 technologies in education have great potential in supporting the acquisition of learner competencies and skills. However, they also require significant effort from students and mentors in changing their attitude towards new ways of interacting.

Keywords: inquiry based learning; Web 2.0; social network analysis; learning dashboards; world wide web; internet; learning environments; learners; stakeholders; mentors; tutors; teaching staff; learning processes; abstract conceptualisation; active experimentation; reflective observation; concrete experience; learning modes; learning tools; wikis; blogs; blogging; bloggers; folksonomies; e-learning; electronic learning; knowledge creation; learning satisfaction; IT adoption; higher education; universities; learner competencies; student attitudes; interacting; master|s programmes; virtual communities; web based communities; online communities; learning communities; web based research networks.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWBC.2010.032233

International Journal of Web Based Communities, 2010 Vol.6 No.2, pp.164 - 182

Published online: 17 Mar 2010 *

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