The field of Networked Learning has been emerging as an exciting and innovative area of work since the 1990’s. It now includes a very active community of senior researchers investigating the nexus between the use of technology in higher education, and its underpinning theory, practice and pedagogy.
Networked Learning is generally restricted to learning that is mediated by digital networks, including social networking sites and other Web 2/3 virtual spaces that support user interaction and content generation. Like CSCL it has a strong interest in collaborative learning but networked learning implies a greater concentration on remote rather than face-to-face collaborations. Networked Learning literature also emphasizes more collaborations involving medium to large numbers rather than dyads or very small groups. However Networked Learning is not restricted to collaborative learning nor is it restricted to the strong links that terms like cooperation, collaboration and community imply. Rather the theory and pedagogy of networked learning is more concerned with developing approaches to learning that encourage and support learners to be critical and ethically responsible citizens in both their practice and lives.
The Research in Networked Learning book series is likely to appeal to and be purchased by a diverse core audience to include : Researchers in technology enhanced learning (TEL), networked learning, e-learning and educational design and pedagogy;
Students (Master level and PhD level) studying TEL, networked learning, e-learning and educational design and pedagogy; and practitioners, managers or decision makers in higher education and public and private sector organizations. Specifically, it will prove invaluable to these groups because:
• The books will provide up-to-date research findings on networked learning/technology enhanced learning
• The range and quality of international authors from across the globe is unique
• The major focus is on learning and pedagogy, and not just on the technology, thus making the books attractive to a wide audience
• The series editors, and editors of each book, are highly respected researchers and are internationally renowned
• The rigorous international peer review of each chapter accords with expectations of the research community, signaling to readers that they can rely on the quality of the publication
The series is supported by the international bi-annual Networked Learning conference, which is regularly attended by an international group of researchers from many different countries and regions. The innovative, and level, of work produced at the conference itself, and in published book and journal articles on the topic of Networked Learning makes this a very exciting and dynamic series. Networked Learning is an area of work that has become a highly relevant area of research and thinking in our networked and digital world.