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Literature Review

2065 words - 8 pages

IntroductionPURPOSE OF THIS REVIEWThis literature review and synthesis aims at developing a knowledge base to inform the Ministry of Education onHow to develop, implement, and maintain online communities of practice (Cops), and how communicationTechnologies can be used to support them. From the Request for Proposals (RFP), the Ministry of EducationIntended that this review would:• Ensure that the Ministry is well informed by the growing body of international research literature intoCops;• Provide the basis for a set of clear, succinct Ministry guidelines for effective practice in the set-up andOngoing support of Cops in the New Zealand school education context;• Inform the way in which Ministry initiatives with an online community component are selected,Designed, supported, and monitored;• Provide an understanding of how Cops might be used to help support the Ministry's "vital outcome" ofeffective teaching (Ministry of Education, 2003);• Provide an understanding of effective practice in catering for diverse community needs, languagecomprehension and operating bilingually;• Assist with planning and budgeting by identifying the relevant support needs and issues at differentstages of a community's lifecycle (this may involve online and/or offline dimensions);• Summarise the key practical issues surrounding the use of different types of communication tools in aCoP context; and• Focus primarily on the role of the Internet in enabling CoPs, but also take account of the role of otherICT-based technologies in enabling CoPs.LITERATURE SOURCESFollowing Borg and Gall (1983), Light and Pillemer (1984) and Tuckman (1988), the research questions aslisted in the previous section were used to guide this literature review and synthesis. In identifying literaturesources, we recognise that research on online CoPs is a relatively new field of research, so that a broad, ratherthan a narrow approach was adopted in the selection of sources. As such, both published and online publications,from New Zealand and overseas, primarily published after 2001, were reviewed as well as seminal articlespublished prior to 2001. Both secondary and primary sources, including conceptual (for example, Lave &Wenger, 1991; Wenger, 1998), software application (for example, Wenger, 2001), and empirical (quantitativeand qualitative, for example, Hodkinson & Hodkinson, 2003; Yoo, Suh & Lee, 2002) articles were reviewed.SELECTION CRITERIAWhile a number of strategies could be employed to select publications to be included in a literature review(Light, 1980), due to the very short time frame that was available, the research team only reviewed academic andprofessional journal articles, conference papers, and commissioned reports. In addition, books and book chaptersthat were considered to be seminal were reviewed.The following databases were searched to locate publications:• Arts and Humanities Citation Index• Education Index•...

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