Sunday, July 7, 2013

What is a Learning Community ?

I believe a learning community is a coming together of Individuals who are interested in developing their knowledge on a particular topic. 

The dictionary definition ( ) of community, refers to "those living in the same locality", therefore community requires a commonality of location for individual participants. 
When we consider this in the online world, the commonality of location is very important as this may be the only forum where dispersed participants or community members are able to meet. Therefore it seems to be essential that there is an online space that is a dedicated resource for the community to develop in and around, such as a LMS, website, wiki or blog.

McInnerney and Roberts (2004) propose that along with "a gathering of people" a community also requires "a sense of belonging". From my experiences with various online communities, as mentioned in my previous post, I can appreciate how a 'sense of belonging' is an essential component to individual participation in a community, as it encourages a feeling of security and as a result enables participants to find their voice; by having the courage to comment and communicate within the community.

So a learning community requires a collection of participants with a common desire to develop knowledge in a central accessible location where participants can feel secure. 

Blogging is always an interesting exercise, as it often generates more questions for me, but perhaps that is the underlying purpose. I look forward to hearing my colleague's perspectives on learning communities to formulate a final understanding of what makes a learning community, particularly as it relates to online.

1 comment:

Kim Mc said...

Susan has posed the question.. "is a MOOC a learning community?"

See my response ...