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Beyond formal learning: Informal community eLearning


Computers & Education Volume 43, Number 1, ISSN 0360-1315 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


The goal of the study described in this paper was to gain an improved understanding of the social context of UK online centres and issues around the creation and exchange of knowledge within and between online community centres. Grounded theory and a pilot study were used to guide our research. The key findings of our research were (i) an elucidation of the goals that drive individuals to improve or share knowledge with others and (ii) the high level concept categories of life-cycles provided us with the basis for a model which characterises formation of, and participation in, informal learning communities. Indeed, the high level concept categories that emerged as strongly supported in our analysis point to the need for interdisciplinary theorising in this area. In this paper, we will: (a) give a summary of what we mean by informal community eLearning, (b) illustrate the key issues with results from a study of UK online centres, and (c) make recommendations for future theorising and research directions.


Cook, J. & Smith, M. (2004). Beyond formal learning: Informal community eLearning. Computers & Education, 43(1), 35-47. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved May 15, 2021 from .

This record was imported from Computers & Education on January 30, 2019. Computers & Education is a publication of Elsevier.

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