Talk Among Yourselves
In the last decade, colleges and universities expanded their physical curricula boundaries with delivery of synchronous and asynchronous Internet-based programs and courses. As demand for online curricula increases, more college and university administrators expect faculty to create, administer, and maintain such courses and programs by developing competency in instructional design and technology. For many faculty, teaching online is an unfamiliar delivery method requiring new instructional strategies and techniques. When challenged to acquire new online instructional methods, most faculty prefer to hear about successful innovations from individuals they know and consider expert, frequently members of their personal and social networks. Often, discussions occurring within these personal and social faculty networks foster creation of communities of practice or learning communities. Understanding how these communities form within an educational institution delivering online curricula enables educators and administrators to design and implement more effective online faculty development and support strategies.