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A purposeful design for transformative networked learning in an online doctoral programme

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Publication date18/05/2022
Host publicationProceedings for the Thirteenth International Conference on Networked Learning 2022
EditorsJimmy Jaldemark, Marcia Håkansson Lindqvist, Peter Mozelius, Lena-Maria Öberg, Maarten De Laat, Nina Bonderup Dohn, Thomas Ryberg
PublisherAalborg University Press
Number of pages9
<mark>Original language</mark>English


In recent years, there has been a growing effort within a research community of NL to re-define the notion of NL and re-configure the landscape of NL practice. The present authors, who are also members of the NL community, aim to contribute to such a collective effort by filling an existing gap in the ongoing conversation—the community has mainly focused on promoting and facilitating the “network” part of NL while assuming and neglecting the “learning” part. The article first argues that the ultimate purpose of NL is to create meaningful personal and social changes: transformative NL. Therefore, the emphasis of the transformative NL design should not be restricted to facilitating learner interactions and knowledge acquisition inside an online course but expanded to helping learners’ holistic development that leads to meaningful changes in their lives outside the course. The article then proposes a “purposeful” design framework including three levels of interconnected NL communities that need to be considered when designing transformative NL: i) internal NL community in an online course that aims to transform individual students’ perspectives through tutor-driven collaborative learning, ii) external NL community in students’ real-life contexts that aims to transform group perspectives through student-driven collaborative practice, and iii) social NL community in broader contexts (or society as a community) that aims to transform social perspectives through community-driven collective action. The article also provides a brief illustration of purposeful NL design in an online doctoral programme in which the authors’ teaching and research praxis is situated.