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Academics' experiences of networked professional learning

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Abstract

This paper explores academics' writing practices, focusing on the importance of digital platforms in their processes of collaborative learning. It draws on interview data from the first phase of a research project working closely with academics across different disciplines and institutions to explore their writing practices, adopting the perspective of understanding academic literacies as social practices.

The paper outlines characteristics of academics' ongoing professional learning, demonstrating the
importance of collaborations on specific projects in generating learning in relation to intellectual and disciplinary aspects of writing, writing strategies and structures, and using digital platforms. A very wide range of digital platforms have been identified by these academics, enabling new kinds of collaboration across time and space on writing and research; but challenges around online learning are also identified, particularly the dangers of engaging in learning in public, the pressures of 'alwayson'-ness, and the different values systems around publishing in different forums.