Skip to Main Content
This work is based on the premise that online learning environments can potentially help develop communities of scholars by enabling participants to discover persons and resources from contexts other than the original course to which they were assigned. Our software, Prometheus, is being used to support online university level education and teacher professional development under an open community model inspired by this idea. The analysis reported in this paper tests whether people who come to the online environment for instrumental objectives such as taking a course encounter persons or products of others from outside their course workspace, and also seeks to identify how the various digital media available in Prometheus support these encounters. Results show distinct roles for each of discussions, resources, user profiles, and wiki pages, and suggest ways to improve our designs.