Becoming a Knowledge Community: The Epistemic Practice of Networked Learning

  • Vivien HodgsonEmail author
  • David McConnell
Part of the Research in Networked Learning book series (RINL)


The chapter considers the contribution the Networked Learning Conference has had in the making of networked learning as an area of scholarship and research since its inception in 1998. It is based on a survey of contributors to the Conference. We draw on two key concepts: that of ‘epistemic practice’ and the related concept of ‘knowledge communities’.

In analysing the responses to our survey, we found that the idea of networked learning was capable of being characterised as a knowledge community through the epistemic practice of those who participated in the Conference. This was a fresh way to attempt to reveal the characteristics of networked learning as they are enacted in and through the Conference. Four themes are discussed: critical space, community, scholarship and developing practice. We suggest these themes are characteristics of the epistemic practice of the networked learning knowledge community and that the Conference is itself a practical accomplishment of networked learning. We conclude that the theory of networked learning is captured in the practical accomplishment of one’s learning designs but equally in our situated performative actions, work and social practices.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lancaster UniversityLancasterUK
  2. 2.Curtin UniversityPerthAustralia

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