The Theory, Practice and Pedagogy of Networked Learning

  • Vivien HodgsonEmail author
  • David McConnell
  • Lone Dirckinck-Holmfeld


This chapter draws on the different chapters in this book in an attempt to address four key questions that are important in taking us forward in our understanding of the nature and purpose of networked learning. The ontological and epistemological foundations of networked learning are critically examined. It is argued that networked learning comes from an ontological position that assumes an understanding and view of the world, including learning and teaching that is socio-culturally influenced and constructed. We identify, e-quality, inclusion, critical reflexivity and relational dialogue as key theoretical perspectives and values associated with the pedagogical and socio-technical design of networked learning. Equally important to us, however, is the nature of meaning and understanding of knowledge and of the world that is constructed and how it contributes to the wellbeing of society and the world in which we live. Networked learning places a high value on cooperation and collaboration in the learning process; self-determination; difference; trust; investment of self in the networked learning process; and the role technology plays in connecting and mediating. The popularisation of Web 2.0 practices and technologies has revitalised these educational terms. However, the chapter indicates that an institutional and managerial commitment is required in order for networked learning to become widely accepted in institutions. Our point of view on networked learning is a relational and transformative one, which is equally shaped by the underlying theoretical educational perspective and values with which we approach the pedagogical and the socio-technical design of learning. Learners have agency, and learning is mediated through socio-technical learning infrastructures, pedagogical principles and organisational cultures. The chapter provides new insights building on a relational perspective between agency and structure.


Cultural Capital Network Learning Learning Management System Digital Literacy Computer Support Collaborative Learning 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vivien Hodgson
    • 1
    Email author
  • David McConnell
    • 2
  • Lone Dirckinck-Holmfeld
    • 3
  1. 1.Lancaster University Management School, Lancaster UniversityLancasterUK
  2. 2.Independent Higher Education ConsultantStirlingScotland, UK
  3. 3.Aalborg UniversityAalborgDenmark

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