Retrofitting theory to practice-a reflection on the development of an e-learning community

Rachel A Harris, Jenny Niven

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution book


This paper relates to a project that worked to establish the Virtual Learning Space (VLS). The intent of the VLS is to provide a collaborative online environment where communities of interest can meet to share experience and understanding of Communication & Information Technology (C&IT) in relation to learning and teaching. The VLS is now an active collection of almost 1900 individuals who share experiences within an online or e-learning community. Having undertaken this development process, it is worth reflecting on how theory has moved forward to address the issues that have arisen during the project. This paper will therefore question what we mean by community, particularly in the online context. Illustrations from a growing e-learning community will link to the theory, and also trial its use for guiding future developments.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Third International Conference on Networked Learning
Place of PublicationLancaster
Publication statusPublished - 2002
EventNetworked Learning 2002 Conference - Sheffield, United Kingdom
Duration: 26 Mar 200228 Mar 2002


ConferenceNetworked Learning 2002 Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • online community
  • community of practice
  • retrofitting
  • theory to practice
  • reflection
  • development
  • e-learning
  • community


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