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ERIC Number: EJ898068
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jul
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 26
ISSN: ISSN-0816-9020
Facilitated Networking and Group Formation in an Online Community of Practice
Fasso, Wendy
Australian Educational Computing, v25 n1 p25-33 Jul 2010
In 2008 and 2009, a series of online professional development communities for groups of teacher-leaders in digital pedagogy was run. In each of the first two iterations, there was an early dropout of individuals who felt they "did not belong". Contributing to this sense of isolation was the immediate emergence of online networks in the introductions forums. These networks grew between individuals who were either more extrovert online communicators, or who had pre-existing networks that were re-connected through community membership. In subsequent communities, a social networking approach to pairing and grouping teachers was taken. The results indicated that the targeted group of individuals in the paired groups felt comfortable, welcome and supported within the community. In all groups in which the partnerships were established, there were no early cancellations of enrolment. In this paper I argue that it is likely that a group of individuals in an online environment community through either facilitated or non-facilitated networking with a small group/individual focus can successfully develop the potential to support engagement in community activity with a whole-group focus. I also contend that it is critical to distinguish networking activity from episodes of community formation, as the purposes and goals of each of these activity types are quite different. (Contains 7 tables and 6 figures.)
Australian Council for Computers in Education. P.O. Box 1255, Belconnen, ACT 2616, Australia. Tel: +61-3-9349-3733; Fax: +61-3-9349-5356; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
IES Cited: ED544210