Title: Online learning communities in context

Authors: Rosemary Luckin; Kristen Weatherby

Addresses: The London Knowledge Lab, The Institute of Education, London, England, WC1N 3QS, UK. ' The London Knowledge Lab, The Institute of Education, London, England, WC1N 3QS, UK

Abstract: Online learning communities could be seen as tools or resources that enable people to perform actions together online. One could conceptualise the multiplicity of resources both within and outwith the online community as the set of circumstances that support learning. These circumstances might more commonly be referred to as the learning (or the learner's) context. But what do we understand about the ways a participant's context impacts upon their participation in a community, and how might knowing more about this help us to develop better tools for online learning communities? We address this question through a case study, in which an online learning community is viewed through the lense of the ecology of resources model of context. We illustrate how this approach can increase our understanding of an online community and its participants and support the further study and development of online learning communities and tools.

Keywords: classroom ICT practice; context; ecology of resources; online learning communities; zone of proximal development; ZPD; online communities; web based communities; virtual communities.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWBC.2012.049559

International Journal of Web Based Communities, 2012 Vol.8 No.4, pp.440 - 454

Published online: 20 Aug 2014 *

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