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To better understand how individuals, groups, and organizations can use information systems more effectively, a research approach closer to the level of social interchange is required. A multiple-level, sustainable, information-technology (IT) learning framework, rooted in patterns of practice and constructed by participatory action research, offers an alternative methodology for investigating sustainable strategies of IT learning. The framework evolved from concrete instances of IT learning across organizational case studies. A patterns-based analysis of the ethnographic data enabled the examination of informal IT learning in community contexts and the identification of IT interventions more likely to produce successful learning outcomes.