A Framework for Social Paleontology via an Online Community Space

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Conference Paper

Journal/Book Title/Conference

E-Learn: World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education


Chesapeake, VA

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Last Page



In this paper we describe a design framework for an online social learning space for a community of practice involving amateur and professional paleontologists. This space will support a shared practice related to the domain of knowledge that we delimit as: understanding the natural world through the collection, preparation, curation and study of fossils and the science of paleontology. We call this practice social paleontology—an open and inclusive form of computer-supported collaborative scientific inquiry. The framework involves propositions that situate the practice of social paleontology within the social learning themes of Hoadley and Kilner's (2005) C4P model aligned with supports for distributed cognition. This represents a first step in the design process and grounds the next phase, which involves a review and evaluation of existing technologies and services for enacting the framework via Information and Communications Technologies.

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