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Comm.unities.of.prac.tice 2.0
How blogs, wikis, and social bookmarking offer facilities that support learning in practice in communities of practice

Thesis Master Informatiekunde Programma Business Information Systems

Universiteit van Amsterdam Faculteit Natuurkunde, Wiskunde en Informatica en Faculteit der Economische Wetenschappen en Econometrie Afdeling Business Studies SectieInformatiemanagement

10 augustus 2006

Begeleiders Dr. Ren´ M. Jansen - Universiteit van Amsterdam / Winkwaves e Dr. Ard Huizing - Universiteit van Amsterdam

Martin Kloos Flierveld 85 Nieuw Vennep +31642150071 M.Kloos@student.uva.nl / kloosm@gmail.com 0470295

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Abstract
This thesis deals with the question whethersocial software offers facilities that support learning in practice in communities of practice (cop). The objective is to formulate hypotheses that explain the relation between the two concepts. The context of this study can be characterized as social software being applied in small, existing communities where participants already know each other and work together. This approach differs from the majorityof the existing literature on social software, which normally describes social software from an individual’s perspective where communities emerge gradually. To achieve the research objective, several steps have been taken. Firstly, a review of the literature on cops has been conducted. cops are groups of people who share a concern, a set of problems, or a passion about a topic, and who deepentheir knowledge and expertise in this area by interacting on an ongoing basis (Wenger, McDermott, and Snyder, 2002). Learning, meaning making, participation, and engaging are the main objectives. Learning in practice consists of three main processes, namely evolving forms of mutual engagement, understanding and tuning the enterprise, and developing a shared repertoire. To support cops, it isimportant that an architecture is available that supports the work of engagement, imagination, and alignment. Secondly, a review of the literature on social software has been conducted. Social software can be defined as software that is aimed at simplifying the achievement and enduring of networks among people (Gorissen, 2006). In this study, three social software services were examined, namely weblogs(blogs), wikis, and social bookmarking. It is argued that social software and cops share several important characteristics, which makes it interesting to study this relation more closely. Thirdly, a review of the literature on the relation between communities (of practice) and social software has been conducted. This theoretical study rei

Abstract sulted in a description of the facilities offeredby blogs, wikis, and social bookmarking that support the work of engagement, imagination, and alignment. Fourthly, an empirical study was carried out. This empirical study consisted of two parts. Ten interviews were held with students at the University of Amsterdam, which were all familiar with both social software and the theory of cops. This study resulted in a refinement of the theoretical...
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