Building Virtual Communities

Learning and Change in Cyberspace

by K. Ann Renninger, Wesley Shumar

Series: Learning in Doing: Social, Cognitive and Computational Perspectives

Building Virtual Communities examines how learning and cognitive change are fostered by online communities. Contributors to this volume explore this question by drawing on their different theoretical backgrounds, methodologies, and personal experience with virtual communities. Each chapter discusses the different meanings of the terms community, learning, and change. Case studies are included for further clarification. Together, these chapters describe the building out of virtual communities in terms that are relevant to theorists, researchers, and practitioners. The chapters provide a basis for thinking about the dynamics of Internet community building. This includes consideration of the role of the self or individual as a participant in virtual community, and the design and refinement of technology as the conduit for extending and enhancing the possibilities of community building in cyberspace. Building Virtual Communities will interest educators, psychologists, sociologists, and researchers in human-computer interaction.

In The Press

'… this volume provides an important initial grounding to a topic of much interest to educators, designers, sociologists, anthropologists, and even past, present, and future community members.' Convergence 2003