Knowledge-building through collaborative web-based learning community or ecology in education

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapters


Because of the ever changing nature of work and society under knowledge-based economy in the 21st century, students and teachers need to develop ways of dealing with complex issues and thorny problems that require new kinds of knowledge that they have not ever learned or taught (Drucker, 1999). Therefore, they need to work and collaborate with others. They also need to be able to learn new things from a variety of resources and people, and to investigate questions and bring their learning back to their dynamic life communities. There have arisen recent learning community approaches (Bereiter, 2002; Bielaczyc & Collins, 1999) and learning ecology (Siemens, 2003) or information ecology approaches (Capurro, 2003) to education. These approaches fit well with the growing emphasis on lifelong, lifewide learning and knowledge-building works. Following this trend, the Internet technologies have been translated into a number of strategies for teaching and learning (Jonassen, Howland, Moore, & Marra, 2003) with supportive development of one-to-one (e.g., e-mail posts), one-to-many (such as e-publications), and many-to-many communications (like video-conferencing). The technologies of computer-mediated communications (CMC) make online instructions possible and have the potential to bring enormous changes to student learning experience of the real world (Rose & Winterfeldt, 1998). It is because individual members of learning communities or ecologies help synthesize learning products via deep information processing processes, mutual negotiation of working strategies, and deep engagement in critical thinking, accompanied by an ownership of team works in those communities or ecologies (Dillenbourg, 1999). In short, technology in communities is essentially a means of creating fluidity between knowledge segments and connecting people in learning communities. However, this Webbased collaborative learning culture is neither currently emphasized in local schools nor explicitly stated out in intended school curriculum guidelines of formal educational systems in most societies. More than this, community ownership or knowledge-construction in learning communities or ecologies may still be infeasible, unless values in learning cultures are necessarily transformed after technical establishment of Web-based learning communities or ecologies. Copyright © 2009 Information Science Reference.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of multimedia technology and networking
EditorsMargherita PAGANI
Place of PublicationHershey, PA
PublisherInformation Science Reference
VolumeVol. II
Edition2nd ed.
ISBN (Electronic)1605660159, 9781605660158
ISBN (Print)1605660140, 9781605660141
Publication statusPublished - 2009


Kwok, P. (2009). Knowledge-building through collaborative web-based learning community or ecology in education. In M. Pagani (Ed.), Encyclopedia of multimedia technology and networking (Vol. II, 2nd ed., pp. 821-282). Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference.


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