Identifying success factors of ICT in developing a learning community: Case study Charles Sturt University

Matthew Campbell, Philip Uys

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
37 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Purpose A learning community has been developing in a distributed environment amongst the members of the Centre for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching (CELT) located in the Bathurst, Goulburn and Orange campuses of Charles Sturt University. This group is known by the acronym of GDMOB, with the purpose of the community to facilitate the professional development and learning of its members. To facilitate the learning ICT has been employed to enhance, through an improved sense of community and social presence of the more isolated members of the group, the learning of the members of the community. It is the intent of this paper to explore and identify factors that contribute to the successful implementation and use of ICT to enhance learning and the construction of a sense of community.Methodology / Approach The methodology used in this study was that of a case study with a questionnaire that used the reflections of members within the GDMOB and personal reflections of the authors, both of whom are active members of the community. The data was interpreted using an insider's perspective. The reflections of the members of the community were gained through the execution of an anonymous survey, through free form discussion as a collective group, and through observations of the interactions of the group.Findings Three key factors have been identified in this study that contributes to the successful implementation and use of ICT to enhance learning and the construction of a sense of community; communication, culture and purpose.Research limitations This research is limited by the small size of the community being investigated, though it is argued that the ideas that emerge can be relevant to larger groups. This aspect needs further investigation.Originality / Value of paper The paper reviews an emerging community of practice and provides reflections on the experience of moving from interactions that were purely face-to-face to a distributedand virtual community environment.Keywords: Community of Practice, Information Technology, Sense of Community
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-26
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Information and Learning Technology
Volume24
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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