All Ireland Society for Higher Education (AISHE), AISHE-C 2008: Encouraging Student Engagement

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If You Build It, Will They Come? : Strategies for Community Enhanced Learning Repositories - National Digital Learning Repository (NDLR)
Dr. Vincent P. Wade, Catherine Mary Bruen

Last modified: 2008-05-16


This paper will outline the strategy of the National Digital learning Repository (NDLR) for combining Communities of Practice (i.e. the User Communities) with the national learning repository service.

The goal of digital learning repositories has been to encourage sharing of teaching and learning resources between academics and across academic institutions. A key difficulty which is frequently encountered in the population of those repositories is the low take-up and (re)usage of the learning resources. By focusing mainly on the introduction of the technology and the population of the repository, there is a danger that initial users may not necessarily continue to use the repository, and sustainability of the repository will come into question.

Currently there is intense interest in developing Communities of Practice. Such Communities seek to support the sharing of opinions and ideas amongst the Community. However, frequently such Communities do not have an extensive, content sharing and management facilities. This can hinder the exchange of reusable digital learning resources amongst the community.

Ideally, a learning repository service should be embedded in vibrant Communities of Practice. However many times this is not the case. This presentation will present models for how Communities of Practice and repository management can be integrated to support community driven learning repositories.


Repository;Reuasable Learning Objects;Communities of Practice;Digital learning