The distance from isolation: Why communities are the logical conclusion in e-learning

Weller, Martin (2007). The distance from isolation: Why communities are the logical conclusion in e-learning. Computers and Education, 49(2) pp. 148–159.



This paper argues that the internet is built around key technology design features of openness, robustness and decentralisation. These design features have transformed into social features, which are embodied within the cultural values of the internet. By examining applications that have become popular on the net, the importance of these values is demonstrated. If e-learning is considered as a sub-set of internet activity, then the types of approaches that will be popular and meaningful for students will be those that appeal to these three core values. An examination of online communities reveals that these are indeed in keeping with these, and provide a valuable learning experience. The community can be seen as a natural conclusion in e-learning driven by the expectations of a generation of learners who have been enculturated into the values of the internet. (C) 2005 Published by Elsevier Ltd.

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  • Item ORO ID
  • 15691
  • Item Type
  • Journal Item
  • ISSN
  • 0360-1315
  • Keywords
  • Virtual communities; Learning communities; Pedagogy; E-learning
  • Academic Unit or School
  • Institute of Educational Technology (IET)
  • Depositing User
  • Colin Smith