Nurturing Global Collaboration and Networked Learning in Higher Education
With the ubiquity of mobile social media in 2014, we consider communities of practice in the wider context of networked communication and networked learning in higher education. In this paper we build upon previous work of establishing a framework for utilizing mobile social media to support collaborative curriculum development focused upon redefining pedagogy across international boundaries (Cochrane et al., 2013a; Cochrane & Keegan, 2012). We present and critique a case study of global collaboration in practice in higher education, building upon previous work of establishing a framework for utilizing mobile social media to support collaborative curriculum development focused upon redefining pedagogy across international boundaries (Cochrane et al., 2013; Cochrane & Keegan, 2012). The iCollab project is an international community of practice connecting students and lecturers in seven modules across seven higher education institutions, in six countries, to explore and evaluate mobile web tools, engage in participatory curriculum development, and create opportunities for students to develop international collaboration and cooperation skills. The iCollab project challenges the typical format of modules/courses/programmes which run for a set period of time, with units of assessment leading to grades; iCollab students work across cohorts, levels, institutions, countries and academic terms, using social media and mobile tools for international collaboration, multimedia production and reflective practice -- as well as exploring the creation and negotiation of digital identities. This paper describes the inception and evolution of the iCollab project; how iCollab participants create, share and aggregate work and interact with one another; and the challenges and opportunities of openness -- particularly learning, teaching and engaging with our students in networked publics.