Creating contexts for effective online communities of practice

Nykvist, Shaun S. (2008) Creating contexts for effective online communities of practice. In Yelland, Nicola, Neal, Greg A., & Dakich, Eva (Eds.) Rethinking Education with ICT: New directions for effective practices. Sense Publishers, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, pp. 165-180.


The construction of knowledge and in particular, the ability of students to engage in higher order thinking is at the heart of educational practices and is a concern for educators. In an effort to promote higher order thinking and move beyond traditional boundaries of education, much attention has recently been given to the notion of Communities of Practice (CoPs) and the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) within educational environments. While many examples of a community of practice can be readily found in professional areas such as medicine and business, it is only recently that emphasis has been placed on fostering these environments within education. With the increasingly large selection of ICT that are emerging, these communities of practice can be further developed and sustained to form what is known as an online or virtual community.

This chapter discusses these communities of practice within education by drawing upon specific case studies and current research. Additionally, it discusses how the combination of ICT with specific pedagogical approaches that employ argument, have been beneficial in promoting higher order thinking skills. The potential to extend education beyond the instrumental epistemological boundaries of constructivism can be achieved through the use of ICT and pedagogical approaches that focus on the development of argument. These communities are knowledge building communities that are creative, challenging and thought provoking in nature.

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ID Code: 14902
Item Type: Book Chapter
Additional Information: For more information about this book please refer to the publisher's website (see link) or contact the author.
Additional URLs:
Keywords: COPS, community of practice, argument, ICT web 2, 0, online learning, e, learning, blogs, forums
ISBN: 9789087902797
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300) > Educational Technology and Computing (130306)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2008 Sense Publishers
Deposited On: 18 Sep 2008 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:44

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