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Practitioner networks: professional learning in the twenty-first century

LaMendola, Walter and Ballantyne, Neil and Daly, Ellen, University of Denver, University of Strathclyde (2009) Practitioner networks: professional learning in the twenty-first century. British Journal of Social Work. pp. 1-15. ISSN 0045-3102

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Abstract

This article reports on a study of a networked learning approach among remote social work practitioners in a large, rural local authority. The intervention was a blended approach that combined facilitation, face-to-face meetings, online communications and access to e-library resources. The intervention was focused on discussions of case management issues for three fictional cases. A method of text analysis used in community of enquiry research was implemented to examine participant discourse. Findings indicate that practitioners developed a community of enquiry that privileged face-to-face communication. Online resources were primarily used as supplementary communication. Practitioners engaged with the community of enquiry approach and used explicit knowledge to inform discussions of case planning.