Communities of Practice: A framework for fostering coherence in virtual learning communities

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Journal/Book Title/Conference

Journal of Educational Technology and Society

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This paper presents a case study of an on-line workshop that was conducted via the WWW. Using the participant dialogues from the workshop bulletin boards, the author investigates whether Wenger’s (1998) Community of Practice framework can be applied to this educational setting. The results indicate that participants interactions in the workshop demonstrated the characteristics of mutual engagement, joint enterprise, and shared repertoire. These three characteristics are what Wenger posits contribute to a cohesive community of practice. Using this framework, some principles are derived that educators can use to design more cohesive learning communities.

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