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Introduction to Online Communication & Technology (30 credits at level HE 4)

This module aims to enable the student, to understand how to use the online learning community environment. You will learn how to confidently participate in online conversations with your learning facilitator and peer group. You will gain a basic understanding of how people interact in an online community to support each other’s learning.

Module Description

During the module, you will consider how theories of learning such as Social learning, Situated learning and Communities of practice can be transferred to online learning through online learning communities.

You will learn how to make use of appropriate online technology and tools to develop your own online learning space. You are not expected to have existing experience of web based technology for developing an online learning space, but a willingness to explore available and emerging tools is essential.

You will develop ICT capability that can enhance your graduate study and transferable employment skills. In addition, you will further enhance workplace knowledge and understanding through participation in the online learning community with peers in related work fields.

Module content will be appropriate to individuals in their work setting and will be supported by learning

facilitators who will help students identify appropriate methodology in order to achieve the module


This is a web delivered distance learning module. Students will need to have access to the internet to access learning resources, participate in the online learning community and submit their electronic portfolio for assessment.

All key resources will be available online. In addition many key resources will be work context specific and defined during the planning of the learning activities, with the support of the learning facilitator to take account of the student’s work context.

Outline Content

  • Using the Internet
  • Accessing online resources
  • Participating in online communities
  • Communicating electronically with appropriate tools
  • Developing an electronic portfolio
  • Use of online environment for learning

Learning Outcomes (threshold standards)


On successful completion of this module the student will be expected to be able to:

Knowledge and understanding

1. select a range of appropriate online learning tools for communication with peers


2. consider how online community can support learning


Intellectual, practical, affective and transferable skills

3. give examples of their participation in the online learning community


4. discuss the development of their online learning spaces


Portfolio 100%

Ket Texts/Literature

Wenger, E (1998). Communities of practice: learning, meaning, and identity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Lave, J & Wenger, E (1991). Situated learning, Legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Whitlock, Q. (2001). Towards an androgogy for living in an information society. In: Stephenson, J Teaching & learning online : new pedagogies for new technologies. London: Kogan. 188

Salmon, G (2004). E-Moderating, The Key to Teaching and Learning OnLine. (2nd Edition) London: Taylor and Francis

The following website resources are recommended:

Smith, M. K. (2003) 'Communities of practice', the encyclopedia of informal education, Accessed October 10, 2005

Wenger, E. (1998) 'Communities of Practice. Learning as a social system', Systems Thinker, Accessed October 10, 2005

Boetcher, S; Duggan, H and White, N. (2002). What is a virtual community anyway and why would you ever want one?. Available: Last accessed October 10 2005

Wenger, E. (unknown). Communities of practice, a brief introduction. Available: Last accessed October 10, 2005

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