Content-type: text/html ~ Stephen's Web ~ Building a Learning Community

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

Apr 18, 2001

[This into text was written by Mark Fletcher, so disregard the adjectives...]

April, 2001 5.30pm-7.30pm at the Buzzard Lecture Theatre, Burge Building, Trinity College Royal Parade, Parkville, Victoria, Australia


Stephen Downes, the renowned Canadian web learning expert will speak on "Building a learning community". Stephen designed and built the highly successful MuniMall on-line community in Canada (, has published and presented widely on related topics ( and consults extensively on practical and conceptual issues in education in the new economy.

A key theme of Stephen's presentation will be that successful learning communities have eight main attributes:

  1. Focus on learning materials
  2. Creation of a sense of whole
  3. Integrate content and communication
  4. Appreciate participant-generated content
  5. On-going communication between members
  6. Access to multiple resources and information
  7. Educational orientation
  8. Sense of history

Stephen will review these attributes in the context of emerging trends in learning and technology. Stephen will also outline his work in Australia as a visiting expert with The Australian Thinking Skills Institute (Austhink) contributing to the development of Austhink's world leading reasoning skills improvement programmes (

This lecture has been made available by the kind assistance of TAFE frontiers, Trinity Learning Innovation Centre and Austhink.


TAFE frontiers is an organisation aiming to bring strategic change to the provision of vocational education and training in Australia. Their main objective is to foster innovative learning methodologies and technologies in TAFE products and services, and develop networks to support flexible delivery. For more information see www.tafefro

The Trinity Learning Innovation Centre aims to actively and continuously explore possible further developments in education, with a particular emphasis on the use of technology to enhance educational outcomes. Trinity College is a College of the University of Melbourne that aims to offer its students the best all-round educational experience in an Australian university. For more information see www.trini

Austhink - The Australian Thinking Skills Institute - is an association of individuals and organisations specialising in critical thinking. Austhink engages in research, education, consulting and training, and the promotion of critical thinking. For more information see

To view the presentation, Click Here

Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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