Distance learning – Social software’s killer ap?
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This paper discusses the challenges of developing modes of distance education that afford maximum freedom for learners—including the ability to enroll continuously and to pace one’s own learning—and yet still create opportunities to work cooperatively in learning communities with other students. To resolve these often conflicting priorities, a new genre of networked-based learning tools known as educational social software is defined, described and its attributes discussed. The paper concludes with a description of the design-based research work begun at Athabasca University using an instance of the ELGG open source, social software tool set.