Title: Harnessing ICT to develop community and identity: a model for academic departments

Authors: Clara M. Chu, Jose Rodolfo Hernandez-Carrion

Addresses: UCLA Department of Information Studies, 210 GSE&IS Building, Box 951520, Los Angeles, CA 90095–1520, USA. ' Department of Applied Economics, University of Valencia, Campus dels Tarongers, Avenida de los Naranjos s/n, E-46022 Valencia, Spain

Abstract: Universities have been early adopters of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). However, does availability imply use? How is ICT being used by academic departments? This article addresses these questions, and discusses the use of ICT to support research, instruction and service, but more specifically, the use of ICT to enhance a sense of identity and community across all members of a department. The authors| observations of university departments across the Atlantic reveal very limited uses of ICT. A democratic web-based academic departmental community model is proposed to assist in the strengthening of departmental identity and community as well as advancing its mission. Concepts such as |wiki| and anthill community underpin this model.

Keywords: academic departments; modelling; departmental identity; community identity; community model; web based communities; ICT; information technology; communications; university departments; wiki; anthill community.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWBC.2006.008616

International Journal of Web Based Communities, 2006 Vol.2 No.1, pp.70 - 80

Published online: 11 Jan 2006 *

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