Knowledge, support & serveblog.org : building an online AmeriCorps community of practice
Thesis (M.A.)--Georgetown University, 2009.; Includes bibliographical references. Due to the scope of the AmeriCorps program, its members do not receive standardized training prior to their service years. Additionally, many members do not serve in teams and lack access to viable support networks. This thesis explores connecting members of the AmeriCorps education realm using Web 2.0 tools such as blogs for the purpose of exchanging knowledge and providing support. Current research cites blogs as vehicles for knowledge repositories and connective community agents; this thesis seeks to combine the potentialities of blogs and build an online community of practice for AmeriCorps members. Through ethnographic interviews and participant-observation methodology, this study examines the interactions of current and former AmeriCorps members within a newly-launched community blog. Analysis of the interactions and interviews reveals that marked leadership and devotion to the domain of AmeriCorps motivates blog members to participate and display community of practice norms. This study adds to our understanding of using blogs as a means of building online communities of practice; it will contribute to future research on the transfer of implicit knowledge to immediate practice.
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