Final Call for Papers: Knowledge Management & E-Learning - An International Journal (KM&EL). Special Issue on "Creating, Supporting, Managing, and Sustaining Virtual Learning Communities"
Guest Editor: Xun Ge, Ph.D.
Psychology and Technology
of Educational Psychology
University of Oklahoma, U.
are living in an information-rich digital age full of
wondrous power, capabilities, and possibilities of
emerging technologies. Web 2.0 technologies,
characterized by participatory information sharing and
collaboration and users generating content and creating
knowledge in virtual communities, have opened our eyes
to a new
open world (Bonk, 2009). Examples of web 2.0 include
social networking sites, blogs, wikis, video sharing
sites, virtual worlds, and digital object repositories.
These emerging technologies have provided us numerous
possibilities for learning and instruction and for
creating engaging and optimal learning opportunities and
alternative and innovative instructional experiences for
K-12 education, higher education, corporate, government,
and military training. The world has entered into what
Bonk (2009) describes as "We-All-Learn" trends, which
encourage open participation and compel educators to
reflect on learning and instruction from a new
perspective. Learners are no longer passive information
recipients, whose role is to memorize or consume
information, but rather active participants, whose role
is to direct their own learning, construct and create
knowledge, and contribute to a virtual community;
whereas teachers are guides, coaches, and mentors to
the potentials of the emerging web 2.0 technologies have
not been fully recognized and tapped. Often we find
online instruction simply duplication of face-to-face
lectures, in which technology is simply an appendage to
education instead of playing a more central and
transforming role. Many instructors have not changed
their mindset to accommodate the participatory culture
and the new paradigm of learning and instruction; and
little has been done beyond posting syllabi,
assignments, and grading to a learning management system
or a web site that is supposed to be used for
collaborative learning. It is argued that new
technologies not only make us more productive, but also
help us become more reflective and creative. Most
importantly, technologies have afforded us with tools to
accomplish goals we would have not been able to without
them. As early as in the 80s, Pea (1985) argued that
technology should not only be used to amplify our
thinking but also to reorganize our mental functioning.
Therefore, we are prompted to fully take advantage of
web 2.0 affordances to develop innovative learning
environments and build virtual learning communities that
will motivate and engage learners meaningfully and
interactively in their learning experiences and focus on
developing the 21st century skills that emphasize
innovation, creativity, communication, collaboration,
critical thinking, decision making, and problem solving.
using emerging technologies to build a virtual learning
community (VLC) is a multifaceted innovation. It not
only involves the use of new technologies, but also new
method of learning and new ways of thinking of learning
and instruction. It presents multiple levels of
challenges to both learners and instructors.
Subsequently, there are many issues awaiting to be
examined, studied, and addressed, including learners'
perceptions, motivation and identity when participating
in a VLC, strategies and methods of designing, building,
managing, and evaluating a VLC to develop students
critical thinking, problem solving, and creativity, and
teachers' beliefs about participatory culture of a
virtual learning environment.
special issue of the KM&EL international journal is
dedicated to the building of VLCs using emerging
technologies. In this special issue, a VLC is defined as
both informal, such as one that supports ongoing
professional development, and formal, such as one as
found in a formal course setting that lasts a semester.
In this call, we invite manuscripts that report
empirical studies (both quantitative and qualitative
studies) of investigating issues and challenges related
to the building of a VLC, the use or design of tools
scaffold the growth of a VLC, and methods and efforts to
create, build, manage, sustain and evaluate a VLC. In
addition, this special issue welcomes manuscripts
discussing conceptual frameworks or theoretical
constructs related to VLC building.
topics of interest include, but not limited to: Impact of a Virtual Learning Community
perceptions and their impact on their participation in a
motivation in a VLC
identity development in a VLC
or a facilitator's role in a VLC
of a VLC on critical thinking and problem solving skill
of peer interactions on metacognition and
self-regulation in a VLC
- VLC and
Designing and Evaluating a Virtual
and strategies to build, manage, and sustain a VLC
and strategies to promote identity development in a VLC
and strategies to facilitate peer interactions,
collaboration and other VLC activities
and strategies to facilitate reflection and
self-regulation in a VLC
and strategies to support complex problem solving in a
and methods to evaluate the effectiveness of a VLC
Conceptual Frameworks or Theoretical
Constructs about a Virtual Learning Community
of learners and practice
of communities and their characteristics (e.g.,
task-based, knowledge-based, and practice-based, etc.)
constructs and factors influencing the success of a VLC
The world is open: How Web technology is
revolutionizing education. Jossey-Base.
R.D. (1985). Beyond amplification: Using the computer to
reorganize mental functioning.
Educational Psychologist, 20(4), 167-182.
Submission due: 20th August, 2011
Notification of decision: 20th October,
Finalization: 20th November 2011
schedule: December 2011
should be sent by email to the Guest Editor, Dr. Xun Ge (email@example.com).