In the early 1990s, CNI’s Teaching and Learning Working Group focused on recognizing and encouraging leading edge examples of courses and curricula that incorporated the use of networks and networked information in higher education. CNI sponsored competitions to find these innovative programs and then sponsored the winners at sessions of the annual Educom Conferences. Following up on the success of these sessions, Susan Perry and Philip Tompkins (co-leaders of the Teaching and Learning Working Group) and CNI staff member Joan Lippincott developed the New Learning Communities initiative.
New Learning Communities (NLC) incorporated:
- Workshops for Project Teams (1994-95)
- Conferences to Disseminate Information and Encourage New Projects (1996-97)
- A Website of Project Descriptions
- A Video of a Peer Workshop
- A Handbook for Campus-Based Workshops
The first Workshop, held in 1994, brought together campus teams who had developed innovative teaching and learning projects incoroporating networks and networked information. The projects were developed collaboratively by faculty members, librarians, information technologists, instructional technologists, students, and others. By the time of the second Workshop in 1995, the World Wide Web was a major impetus for the increased use of networked information in higher education curricula.
Through the NLC program, CNI
- identified the need for cross-sector teams to develop effective instructional materials and deliver instruction;
- reported that lack of physical contact did not result in less communication or interaction in networked educatioin settings;
- identified the intellectual property issues that would need to be solved to deliver education over the Internet;
- and identified the concern that large investments of resources were required to develop these projects.
For further information about the New Learning Communities project, see: