Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Creating virtual communities of practice for learning technology in higher education: Issues, challenges and experiences

By Jacqueline Dempster, Helen Beetham, Peter Jackson and Steven Richardson


The need for a Web portal to support the rapidly growing field of learning technology has been well established through a number of national surveys and scoping studies over recent years. The overarching vision has been the provision of a virtual environment to assist in informing and developing professional practice in the use of learning technologies. This paper outlines the issues and challenges in creating such a portal through the experiences of developing the RESULTs Network. In the paper, design and participation issues are considered within the wider context of online and networked approaches to supporting practice and professional development. User participation methodologies and technical developments for RESULTs are described in relation to a review of existing representations of practice and a comprehensive survey amongst the learning technology users’ community. An outline of key achievements and experiences is presented, followed by some conclusions regarding the cultural and political issues in creating a viable and sustainable facility and suggestions for possible future direction in national provision

Topics: LB Theory and practice of education, LC1022 - 1022.25 Computer-assisted Education
Publisher: University of Wales Press
Year: 2003
DOI identifier: 10.1080/0968776030110309
OAI identifier:

Suggested articles


  1. (2003). (in preparation), 'Developing interoperable taxonomies for sharing resources within multidisciplinary communities of practice', submitted doi
  2. (2000). Communities in cyberspace', doi
  3. (2003). Evaluation of the Distributed National Electronic Resource) Project (2002), Portals in Higher and Further Education, Issues Paper 5, accessed on the Web: 27
  4. (2000). Implementing Computer Supported Cooperative Learning (2nd edn), doi
  5. (2000). Learning and teaching strategies: the implications for educational development',
  6. (2000). Learning technology scoping study: lessons for educational developers',
  7. (2003). Networked professional development: a review of current practice', doi
  8. (1999). New professionals: change and occupational roles in higher education', doi
  9. (1999). Review of staff development courses and materials for C and IT in teaching, learning and assessment',
  10. (2002). Scoping study for a learning and teaching portal for HE', unpublished report to the JISC/LTSN.
  11. (2000). Supporting 116ALT-J Volume 11 Number 3 organisational learning: an overview of the ENRICH approach',
  12. (2000). Supporting ALT-J Volume 11 Number 3 organisational learning: an overview of the ENRICH approach',
  13. (2001). Supporting structured change: toolkits for design and evaluation',

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.