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The potential of online academic communities for teaching staff: findings from a pilot study of the SocialLearn platform

The potential of online academic communities for teaching staff: findings from a pilot study of the SocialLearn platform

McCall, Vikki, Mooney, Gerry, Rutherford, Paul and Gilmour, Alison ORCID: 0000-0003-2256-1995 (2014) The potential of online academic communities for teaching staff: findings from a pilot study of the SocialLearn platform. International Journal of Web Based Communities, 10 (4). pp. 404-425. ISSN 1741-8216 (Print), 1741-8216 (Online) (doi:https://doi.org/10.1504/IJWBC.2014.065392)

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Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to offer some insight from an evaluation that explored the viability, usefulness and potential of the online platform SocialLearn in providing an online community for Open University Associate Lecturers (part-time teaching staff). Findings from two focus groups and a staff survey highlighted both the potential of an online community and the barriers to successful implementation. In applying a qualitative analysis of the 'Communities of Inquiry' (CoI) framework, the pilot project highlighted the importance of social presence and cognitive presence, with minimal elements of a teaching presence within the online staff community. Key learning outcomes around privacy, usability and multi-level communications were found to be central in creating a successful online academic environment for teaching staff.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: pedagogy; online communities; staff development; social media; communities of inquiry; community of inquiry; online academic communities; teaching staff; virtual communities; web based communities; Open University; university lecturers; part-time staff; higher education; social presence; cognitive presence; learning outcomes; privacy; usability; multi-level communications
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Educational Development Unit
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 17 Feb 2021 16:07
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/30856

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