Network learning

We were particularly interested in using this European Union e-Learning Action Plan (EU) funded project as a case study for examining the ideas described in Knight's (2002) human relations paper. She recognises that a popular subject is networks and that they lead us to consider learning as a social and situational process. She distinguishes between network learning, inter-organisational learning and learning networks. Network learning she defines as the sum of the learning of individuals, groups and organisations that constitute the network. The learning entity therefore is the complete network and learning outcomes are evidenced through changes such as network level or network wide routines, strategies, culture, processes and systems. Inter-organisational learning, on the other hand at its simplest might involve a learning entity that is an individual, a group of individuals, an organisation or an inter-organisational network. Knight sees it to be distinguished by the fact that the learning takes place in an inter-organisational context. She defines learning networks as any deliberate learning through interaction with others whether as an individual, group or organisational. Knight (2002) has said of learning in networks "Network actors collaborate, that is they purposefully cooperate over time." This is we feel an appropriate definition for the participants of ESeN.

Knight (2002) presents a table (see Table II) to capture her arguments about the different manifestations of learning in networks and network learning and uses this as a framework for understanding prior research. She does so by mapping the different levels of learner against the learning context and uses

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