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Building A Digital Learning Community For Faculty On The Internet

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



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Page Numbers

5.128.1 - 5.128.12

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Paper Authors

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Jason Puzniak

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Flora McMartin

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Alice Agogino

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 3630

Building a Digital Learning Community for Faculty on the Internet

Jason Puzniak, Flora McMartin and Alice Agogino University of California at Berkeley


The exponential growth of the Internet and World Wide Web have led to increased competition in the quality of Internet services provided. Increasingly sophisticated users are no longer satisfied with dealing with static sets of information alone and expect a broad array of new services and features on Web sites. In particular, they are expecting more interactivity and want services that help them to connect with other people to exchange and discuss information they find. Engineering faculty are no exception to this trend — the Internet provides them with an opportunity to connect with colleagues and establish professional relationships based on issues around teaching and learning.

NEEDS (the National Engineering Education Delivery System), a digital library for engineering education ( is the distributed architecture developed by Synthesis: A National Engineering Education Coalition (see to enable the sharing of new pedagogical models based on Internet-mediated learning environments. NEEDS has undertaken an effort to learn more about its users and has found that with regards to teaching, faculty prefer to learn from one another. As a result of this research, NEEDS is experimenting with a variety of on-line services that can develop and support emerging communities among the faculty who are interested in interacting with one another in order to better use instructional technology and new pedogogies in their classrooms.

In this paper, we discuss research on the potential impact of Web-based learning communities for faculty who are interested in engineering education. This research has been used in the design of the architecture necessary for NEEDS to provide and support this service.

I. Introduction

One result of the exponential growth of the Internet and World Wide Web is that faculty (like other users) are no longer satisfied with dealing with static sets of information alone. Faculty want to use it to connect with colleagues to discuss and learn about teaching and learning in increasingly sophisticated ways. For example, both faculty and students turn to the Web and digital libraries as a resource to find information that is not available in traditional libraries; they

Puzniak, J., & McMartin, F., & Agogino, A. (2000, June), Building A Digital Learning Community For Faculty On The Internet Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri.

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