Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC) technologies such as electronic mail, bulletin board services, computer conferencing systems, and the World Wide Web are having a profound effect on education. Learning Networks is a complete guide to the use of these new technologies at the primary, secondary, university, and adult education levels. Drawing on the authors' own considerable experience of teaching and learning online, it describes the learning networks that are available as well as new examples of learning networks that can be created.Part I provides a selective survey of the field: what are learning networks and who is using them, what kind of courses can be taught online, what approaches to teaching and learning are most successful online, what curriculum can best be supported by networking, and what kinds of teachers and learners benefit from this medium. Part II deals exhaustively with the design and implementation of learning networks as well as the roles of teachers and learners and gives a realistic assessment of potential pitfalls. In Part III the authors discuss CMC technologies as a paradigm for education in the next century.
Linda Harasim is a Professor in the Department of Communications at Simon Fraser University.
Part 1 The field: learning networks - an introduction; networks for schools - exemplars and experiences; networks for higher education, training and informal learning - exemplars and experiences. Part 2 The guide: designs for learning networks; getting started - the implementation process; teaching online; learning online; problems in paradise - expect the best, prepare for the worst. Part 3 The future: new directions; network learning - a paradigm for the 21st century; epilogue - Email from the future. Appendices: non-formal education and online services; sample course description and letter to online students; annotated excerpts from an online course.