The Open UniversitySkip to content

Online communities

Bradshaw, Pete (2006). Online communities. PFP Publishing.

Full text available as:
PDF (Accepted Manuscript) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (37kB)
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


“Our online community provides a dynamic forum for you to discuss current topics and concerns with the wider education community.“

This quote is taken from the Teachernet website [ ], but could be claimed to apply to any number of education sites. Increasingly, online content is being complemented by with opportunities for readers to interact with each other or participate in debate. This article will look at the proliferation of such ‘online communities’. It will consider how they might be used to support teachers and school managers, how they might be most effectively used and how ‘virtual’ communication complements and overlaps with the ‘real world’. Finally it challenges the very notion of this dichotomy.

What then is an online community? Simply it is community, a collection of people, who are communicating or working together online. Often the term is used to describe the software or online space – “Click here to enter our community” – but if it is a true “community” then it must involve a defined membership, however loose that definition.

Item Type: Other
Copyright Holders: 2006 The Author
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Education, Childhood, Youth and Sport
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
Research Group: Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET)
Item ID: 31591
Depositing User: Pete Bradshaw
Date Deposited: 17 Feb 2012 10:53
Last Modified: 02 May 2018 13:36
Share this page:

Download history for this item

These details should be considered as only a guide to the number of downloads performed manually. Algorithmic methods have been applied in an attempt to remove automated downloads from the displayed statistics but no guarantee can be made as to the accuracy of the figures.

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU