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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1889/2371

Title: Parma Co-Lab: organizational challenge for research and learning
Authors: Valla, Sara
Issue Date: Jul-2013
Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Document type: Article
Abstract: Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to describe the initial phases of the formation of the Co-Lab as a community at the University of Parma, which aims to foster informal ways of collaboration among students, professors, researchers, with a view to increasing results in learning and knowledge sharing. Design/methodology/approach – An ethnographical approach is applied; a constant observation inside the context through contact with participants in their environment allows the documentation of different approaches in the activity field. The context involves the DILL international Master's in Digital Library Learning. The Co-Lab agenda relies on constant problem solving and considering technology as the servant of needs for continuous learning. Findings – Collaboration is only possible by sharing a common domain and language, enthusiasm and commitment. This is one of the benefits of an informal community of practice; nevertheless Co-Lab needs to be recognized as an informal, albeit valuable, community and supported by the institution. Research limitations/implications – The author combines a technical background with a social observation inside a context with which she interacts constantly. Practical implications – The Co-Lab approach to practices might be the response to the needs of academic education and research in the current technological environment. It may require the acceptance by the institutional organization of the informal paradox and non-hierarchical approach to achieve practical advantages. Originality/value – Research carried out by an observer with technological background inside the context where students and professors interact can foster an increased awareness of diverse problems.
Appears in Collections:Scienze sociali e umane

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