A special issue of International Journal of Web Based Communities
Web Based Research Networks (WBRNs) provide advantages of anytime-anyplace participation by traditional researchers and their informants whilst potentially harnessing rich contributions from the wider public. Web Based Learning Communities (WBLCs) similarly bring together dispersed individuals by means of suitable technology to develop their vocational and/or academic understanding collaboratively.
This Special Issue welcomes well-researched contributions building upon the current literature of successful, failing and adaptive WBRNs and WBLCs. Its aim is to identify not so much the technology, but the pedagogies, management models and modus operandi which have demonstrable potential to enhance the future of such communities.
iPED (Inquiring Pedagogies) is an education research network whose experiences as an emergent web-based community are well-documented. Peer-led, iPED aspires to overcome the barriers between researchers of discipline, culture, geography, and economic and hierarchic status. Since its inception in 2005, iPED has benefited from the participation of several hundred academic colleagues of many nationalities in such roles as contributor, peer-reviewer, event delegate and guide. The IJWBC-iPED editorial experience will itself provide a case-study in WBRN activity in the evolving global research context.
Examples of topics appropriate to the theme of Web Based Research Networks (WBRNs) and Learning Communities (WBLCs) include, but are not limited to:
- Issues of leadership in WBRNs and WBLCs: peer-led teams; special interest (sub)groups; crowd and swarm participation; multi-organisational, multicultural and multinational challenges
- Operational versus strategic WBRNs and WBLCs; the impact on the individual of multiple concurrent WBRN and/or WBLC memberships
- Considerations of the influence of the adopted management model, mores and modus operandi on the sustainability of a WBRN or WBLC
- WBRN responses to inter- and intra-group competition
- Professional development for WBRN or WBLC leadership and facilitation
- Pedagogies suited to successful WBLC development
- Integrating WBRN or WBLC participation into work or study
- WBLC and WBRN use of immersive and social-networking technologies to promote learning and encourage inclusion
- Establishing and developing academic identity with and through WBRNs and WBLCs
Deadline for abstract submission: 30 November 2008
Deadline for paper submission: 31 January 2009
Notification to authors: 28 February 2009
Deadline for camera ready papers: 31 March 2009