HETL Global Communities

Understanding Faculty Use of an Online Community of Practice for Professional Development

October 10, 2014 in HETL News

The HETL global online community of practice was the subject of an academic research study conducted by Nancy Richmond titled “Digital ethnography: understanding faculty use of an online community of practice for professional development”. Dr. Leslie Hitch at Northeastern University served as the faculty mentor and research supervisor. Go to http://iris.lib.neu.edu/education_theses/194/ to download the research paper.

This academic research study presents empirical evidence supporting HETL’s approach to building inclusive global online academic communities of practice. Key findings of the study include:

“This study demonstrated how an online community can fit into the overall professional development of faculty”

“The HETL online community offers an opportunity for faculty members to expand their teaching skills in an informal learning environment and on their own time.”

“The HETL online community offered an opportunity for faculty members to participate in an online community of practice where active learning, open dialogue and sharing of information was encouraged by group members.”

“The HETL online community could be used as a guide for using an online community for professional development and collaborative learning in different disciplines and industries outside of higher education.”

“…additional research is needed to understand how informal online communities can be used in conjunction with more formalized teacher learning programs both on-campus and online. In addition more research is needed to better understand how to create an active online community through moderation of a group and the development of policies and guidelines.”

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