Celebrating the Tenth Networked Learning Conference: Looking Back and Moving Forward

  • Maarten de LaatEmail author
  • Thomas Ryberg
Part of the Research in Networked Learning book series (RINL)


The chapters in this book are based on a selection of papers from the Networked Learning Conference 2016 which was the 10th anniversary conference in the series. In acknowledgement of the anniversary, the authors of this Introduction look back and reflect on past networked learning conferences with the aim to describe some general trends and developments in networked learning research as they emerge and fade out over the years. In order to do so the authors use the proceedings of each networked learning conference (from 1998 till 2016) as a compiled dataset. This dataset forms a text corpus that has been analysed with Voyant tools (Sinclair and Rockwell 2016) specifically designed for analysing digital texts. Voyant tools are used to generate a set of word clouds (Cirrus) in order to visualise networked learning research-related terms that feature most frequently in each set of proceedings and conduct a trends analysis of these terms to generate a visual representation of the frequencies of these terms across the proceedings over the years. The outcomes have been thematically organised around the following topics: learning theory (e.g. cognitivism, constructivism, social learning, actor network theory), learning environments and social media (e.g. LMS, MOOC, Virtual Worlds, Twitter, Facebook), technologies (e.g. phone, laptop, tablet), methodology (e.g. quantitative, qualitative) and related research in the domain of e-learning (e-learning, CSCL, TEL). The findings are placed in their historical context to understand how research presented in the domain of networked learning has developed over the years and influenced our work. Towards the end of the Introduction, the two main sections of the book are presented. The overview discussion of individual chapters is deferred to the Conclusion chapter.


  1. Banks, S., Graebner, C., & McConnell, D. (Eds.). (1998). Networked lifelong learning: innovative approaches to education and training through the internet. Proceedings of the International Conference, University of Sheffield, April 1998. DACE, University of Sheffield.Google Scholar
  2. Bayne, S. (2015). What’s the matter with “technology-enhanced learning”? Learning, Media and Technology, 40(1), 5–20. Scholar
  3. Bennett, S., Maton, K., & Kervin, L. (2008). The ‘digital natives’ debate: A critical review of the evidence. British Journal of Educational Technology, 39(5), 775–786.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Carvalho, L., & Goodyear, P. (2014). The architecture of productive learning networks. Sydney: Routledge.Google Scholar
  5. Carvalho, L., Goodyear, P., & de Laat, M. (2016). Place, space and networked learning. In L. Carvalho, P. Goodyear, & M. de Laat (Eds.), Place-based spaces for networked learning (pp. 1–10). Sydney: Routledge.Google Scholar
  6. De Laat, M., Schreurs, B., & Nijland, F. (2014). Communities of practice and value creation in networks. In R. F. Poell, T. Rocco, & G. Roth (Eds.), The Routledge companion to human resource development (pp. 249–257). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  7. Dohn, N. B. (2009). Web 2.0-mediated competence – implicit educational demands on learners. Electronic Journal of e-Learning, 7(2), 111–118.Google Scholar
  8. Hayes, S. (2016). Learning from a deceptively spacious policy discourse. In T. Ryberg, C. Sinclair, S. Bayne, & M. de Laat (Eds.), Research, boundaries, and policy in networked learning (pp. 23–40). Springer. Scholar
  9. Ferreday, D., & Hodgson, V. (2008, May). The tyranny of participation and collaboration in networked learning. In Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Networked Learning(pp. 640–647).Google Scholar
  10. Jones, C., Asensio, M., Goodyear, G., Hodgson, V., & Steeples, C. (2001). Final report on the field studies. Networked learning in higher education project (JISC/CALT). Lancaster: CSALT (The Centre for Studies in Advanced Learning Technologies), Lancaster University.Google Scholar
  11. Jones, C. (2015). Networked learning – an educational paradigm for the age of digital networks. Berlin: Springer.Google Scholar
  12. Fox, S. (2005). An actor-network critique of community in higher education: Implications for networked learning. Studies in Higher Education, 30(1), 95–110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gallagher, M. S., Lamb, J., & Bayne, S. (2016). The sonic spaces of online, distance learners. Place-based spaces for networked learning. In L. Carvalho, P. Goodyear, & M. de Laat (Eds.), Place-based spaces for networked learning (pp. 87–99). Sydney: Routledge.Google Scholar
  14. Goodyear, P. (2002). Psychological foundations for networked learning. In Networked learning: Perspectives and issues (pp. 49–75). London: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Goodyear, P., Banks, S., Hodgson, V., & McConnell, D. (Eds.). (2004). Advances in research on networked learning. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.Google Scholar
  16. Goodyear, P., Carvalho, L., & De Laat, M. (Eds.). (2016a). Place-based spaces for networked learning. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  17. Goodyear, P., & Ellis, R. (2010). Expanding conceptions of study, context and educational design. Rethinking learning for a digital age: How learners are shaping their own experiences, 100–113.Google Scholar
  18. Goodyear, P., Carvalho, L., & Dohn, N. B. (2016b). Artefacts and activities in the analysis of learning networks. In T. Ryberg, C. Sinclair, S. Bayne, & M. de Laat (Eds.), Research, boundaries, and policy in networked learning (pp. 93–110). Springer. Scholar
  19. Gourlay, L., & Oliver, M. (2017). Students’ physical and digital sites of study: Making, marking and breaking boundaries. In L. Carvalho, P. Goodyear, & M. de Laat (Eds.), Place-based spaces for networked learning (pp. 73–89). Sydney: Routledge.Google Scholar
  20. Granovetter, M. S. (1973). The strength of weak ties. American Journal of Sociology, 78(6), 1360–1380.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hodgson, V., de Laat, M., McConnell, D., & Ryberg, T. (Eds.). (2014). The design, experience and practice of networked learning. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  22. Kennedy, G. E., Judd, T. S., Churchward, A., Gray, K., & Krause, K. L. (2008). First year students’ experiences with technology: Are they really digital natives? Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 24(1), 108–122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Prensky, M. (2001). Digital natives, digital immigrants part 1. On the horizon, 9(5), 1–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Roberts, J. (2006). Limits to communities of practice. Journal of Management Studies, 43(3), 623–639.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Ryberg, T., Sinclair, C., Bayne, S., & de Laat, M. (Eds.). (2016). Research, boundaries, and policy in networked learning. London: Springer.Google Scholar
  26. Vrieling, E., Van den Beemt, A., & De Laat, M. F. (2016). What’s in a name: Dimensions of social learning in teacher groups. Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, 22(3), 273–292.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of practice – learning, meaning, and identity. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Wenger, E. (2004). Learning for a small planet – a research agenda. Retrieved from
  29. Wenger, E., Trayner, B., & De Laat, M. (2011). Promoting and assessing value creation in communities and networks: A conceptual framework. Heerlen: Ruud de Moor Centrum.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Learning, Teaching & Curriculum, University of WollongongWollongongAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Communication and PsychologyAalborg UniversityAalborgDenmark

Personalised recommendations