Augar, Naomi, Raitman, Ruth, Lanham, Elicia and Zhou, Wanlei 2006, Building virtual learning communities, in Web-based intelligent e-learning systems: technologies and applications, Information Science Pub, Hershey, USA, pp.72-100.
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This chapter introduces the concept of virtual learning communities and discusses and further enhances the theory and definitions presented in related literature. A model comprising four criteria essential to virtual learning communities is presented and discussed in detail. Theory and case studies relating to the impact of virtual learning communities on distance education and students from diverse cultural groups are also examined. In addition, this chapter investigates the enabling technologies and facilitation that is required to build virtual learning communities. Other case studies are used to illustrate the process of building virtual learning communities. Emerging technologies such as wikis and video lectures are also analysed to determine the effects they have on building and sustaining effective virtual learning communities.