Irish Journal of Technology Enhanced Learning (Feb 2019)

“Virtual Learning Environment Faculty Continuing Professional Development - Networked Learning Communities” A Critical Literature Review

  • Chris O'Toole

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 4, no. 1
pp. 48 – 67


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This paper presents the results of a small-scale research study examining the professional practice of Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) faculty, who are encouraged to network and learn, establish on-going relationships with both their fellow faculty and those in other institutions, share knowledge, experience, resources and foster good practice for continuing professional development (CPD). It considers whether the group of faculty would benefit from the establishment of a networked learning community, supported by their educational institution for continuing professional development. Using an integrative literature review, it provides a review of existing research literature related to professional development of VLE faculty within networked learning communities. Findings indicate that although networked learning communities have positive influences for CPD including enhanced social learning processes, greater use of formal and informal learning, learning across barriers in time and space and increased levels of interaction, challenges remain that can hinder continuing professional development. It concludes that a networked learning community could be piloted with a sub-group of VLE faculty at a chosen HEI and that further qualitative and quantitative research could be conducted.