Brosnan K (2005) Developing and sustaining a national learning-object sharing network: A social capital theory perspective. ASCILITE 2005, Brisbane, Australia, 04.12.2005-07.12.2005. http://www.ascilite.org/conferences/brisbane05/start.shtml
This paper reports on a major (ongoing) development in the UK which aims to provide a national learning-object sharing network for teachers in the further and higher education sectors. The argument advanced here is that for such an innovative network to be successful - significant attention must be given to the social dynamics of the network. The social dynamics concern the actual patterns of object exchange, what barriers exist to exchange and what incentives are necessary to overcome these barriers. Social capital theory and work on social dilemmas are examined as a conceptual framework for addressing such issues. The conceptual framework developed here emphasises that issues such as trust and reciprocity are important before cooperation in the development and sharing of learning-objects can become effective. The paper also examines the potential of learning-object exchange as a mechanism for supporting and sustaining communities of practice.
learning-objects; digital-repository; sharing; social-capital; social-dilemmas; communities of practice