WestminsterResearch

The impact of membership of a virtual learning community on individual learning careers and professional identity

Allan, Barbara and Lewis, Dina (2006) The impact of membership of a virtual learning community on individual learning careers and professional identity. British Journal of Educational Technology, 37 (6). pp. 841-852. ISSN 0007-1013

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8535.2006.00661.x

Abstract

This study takes a relatively new direction in researching virtual learning communities (VLCs) as it explores the ways in which VLC membership can support lifelong learning and impact on individual learning careers and professional identities beyond the life of the community. The case study spans 4 years. The findings suggest that through the process of engaging in a VLC, individuals may change their ‘horizons of action’ leading to new learning and career trajectories. In particular, the study demonstrates how membership of a VLC supported and enabled some individuals to transform their learning careers and to make significant life changes. Other members developed their learning careers in an incremental manner that led to increased innovation and professional expertise. The findings suggest that VLCs are successful in supporting individual change and career development when they provide the ‘comfort zone’ of a secure and supportive virtual environment.

Item Type:Article
Research Community:University of Westminster > Westminster Business School
ID Code:10758
Deposited On:16 Jul 2012 16:28
Last Modified:16 Jul 2012 16:28

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