Reconceptualising sustainability through computer-mediated engagement within online professional communities of practice from teachers' perspectives
by Diane Hui
International Journal of Continuing Engineering Education and Life-Long Learning (IJCEELL), Vol. 25, No. 1, 2015

Abstract: Professional communities as mediated by networked technology, in particular amongst teachers, have not lived up to public expectations. This paper examines some reasons for the variable success of communities, and teachers' views concerning sustainability in informal professional learning communities through a concept I call 'computer-mediated engagement'. I argue that engagement through integrating dialogic voices/utterances and using texts as thinking tools for generating new meanings are essential for informing criteria for web-based communities and sustainability. Using mixed methods, multiple data including questionnaires and interview responses were collected and triangulated with longitudinal text transcripts and field notes from teachers' public e-mail list communities and subject to analyses from discourse and ethnographic perspectives. The findings authenticate a framework for characterisation of web-based communities, and provide useful insights into sustainability for evaluation, and implications of strategies for enhanced and sustainable learning in network-based environments and design. Practical recommendations are also provided.

Online publication date: Wed, 21-Jan-2015

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