Bulletin of the Graduate School of Education, Hiroshima University. Part 1, Learning and curriculum development Issue 61
2012-12-21 発行

Online Conceptual Artefacts and Their Acceptance Among Adult Users

Nistor, Nicolae
Adult learning is largely based on informal interactions between members of communities of practice (CoPs), which result in the collaborative construction of meaning, knowledge creation and, at individual level, the acquisition of skills and applicable knowledge. Due to these advantages, CoPs appear to be recommendable environments for continuing education; however, corresponding pedagogical instruments are hardly available. A possible method of fostering CoPs and supporting knowledge sharing may be to offer CoP members appropriate cultural or conceptual artefacts. Addressing this need, the contribution at hand first defines CoPs and conceptual artefacts, showing how artefacts are an organic part of the socio-cognitive activity at three levels: (1) communication between CoP members, (2) knowledge construction and help seeking in the frame of community practice, and (3) knowledge reification, artefact development and collective memory synthesising basic knowledge, interaction rules and values of the CoP. The article further describes the acceptance of technology-based conceptual artefacts against the background of current technology acceptance models. According to these, the acceptance of conceptual artefacts is influenced by CoP members' performance and effort expectations, and by the CoP environment, which includes social roles and social influence; members' expectancies are further influenced by the perception of online seeking problems. In conclusion, this contribution shows how offering appropriate conceptual artefacts may be a means of fostering CoPs, and suggests consequences for the practice of workplace learning in academic environments and for supporting CoPs by developing online help seeking systems and shaping the interaction between community members.
communities of practice
academic help seeking
cultural artefacts
conceptual artefacts
technology acceptance