Braided learning: an emerging process observed in e-communities of practice
by C.J. Preston
International Journal of Web Based Communities (IJWBC), Vol. 4, No. 2, 2008

Abstract: This discussion paper explores the emergent theory of Braided Learning observed in the online communication within a mature professional 'Communities of Practice' (CoPs) (Wenger, 1992; 2002; 2004). The focus of the study is the online practice of the international MirandaNet Fellowship, which was established in 1992. Evidence of the Wenger approach to learning in the history of MirandaNet is contrasted and compared with the linear five-step model that Salmon (2000; 2002) developed in tutoring online business courses. In the paper, an example of a multi-authored text from the Mirandalink, the internal listserv, is investigated to provide evidence of new kinds of collaborative learning. One key skill that is found amongst members is the e-facilitation of collaborative learning. The conclusions indicate that over time online engagement can provide professionals with a thriving community. A sixth step in professional learning is discovered, which is when the CoP members reinterpreted jointly owned online texts to use in the process of influencing local, national and international agendas.

Online publication date: Wed, 26-Mar-2008

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