The Influence of Heterophily on a Community about Moodle Use in Higher Education

Yum, T. P. and Yuen, H. K. (2017) The Influence of Heterophily on a Community about Moodle Use in Higher Education.

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Background The concept of community of practice (CoP) has been advocated widely as a means of professional development. These communities are usually composed of participants from diversified background. The diversity could lead to heterophily which is positive for diffusion of innovation, but negative for establishing effective communication as argued by Roger (2003). Good practices in Moodle use could be transferred through CoP, but there are few studies identified the influence of heterophily in the process. Methodology A CoP about Moodle use at a university was observed. Teachers, researchers and technical staff participated in the community voluntarily. There were 10 face-to-face sharing sessions conducted by 10 teachers. An online platform was designed for participants to further discuss and share resources. Modes of belonging from Wenger (1998) was adopted as a theoretical lens to observe the influence of heterophily on participants. Data Collection A survey was conducted to examine demographics, perception of diversity and modes of belonging about participants at the end of each session. Results Demographic diversity including age, faculty rank, teaching experience and Moodle experience was found in the community. Participants who did not perceive diversity showed higher level of alignment and willingness to transfer the knowledge gained to their practice comparing to participants who perceived. The influence of heterophily on participants could be potentially related to individual perception of diversity. The balance between settings of community and individual perception of diversity is suggested to be a factor for the successful transfer of good practices in Moodle use through CoP.

Item Type: Article
Depositing User: Elizabeth Dalton
Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2019 23:40
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2019 23:40

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