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ERIC Number: EJ912782
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0047-2395
Virtual Communities of Practice: Bridging Research and Practice Using Web 2.0
Lewis, Laura A.; Koston, Zoe; Quartley, Marjorie; Adsit, Jason
Journal of Educational Technology Systems, v39 n2 p155-161 2010-2011
A significant dilemma for the health and human service professions continues to be the question of how best to bridge the divide between academic research and practice. Communities of practice have traditionally been a vehicle for collaborative research and for information exchange (Moore, 2008). Through collaboration, communities of practice have the ability to disseminate knowledge and transmit best practices in these disciplines (Barry, 2007). However, organizational constraints on time can impose barriers to professional partnerships (i.e., Le May, Mulhall, & Alexander, 1998). Increasingly restrictive research agendas of faculty pose an additional barrier (Colbeck, 2000). Web 2.0 technologies may offer a solution to this challenge. According to Boulos and Wheeler (2007), Web 2.0 technologies "represent a quite revolutionary way of managing and repurposing/remixing online information and knowledge repositories, including clinical and research information, in comparison with the traditional Web 1.0 model" (p. 2). Also, a greater repository of information among communities of practice can be generated via new technology (Kok, 2006). This article describes a virtual community of practice developed through a partnership between the University at Buffalo School of Social Work and the University at Buffalo Teaching and Learning Center. A participatory process that included stakeholder input through use of surveys and focus groups was employed. A definition of community of practice is presented, and the five stages of development of communities of practice as outlined by Wenger, McDermott, and Snyder (2002) is applied to the current example. The utility of an online social networking tool for creating professional partnerships and for knowledge dissemination is explored. Barriers to implementation are expounded. (Contains 3 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York