Practitioner networks: professional learning in the twenty-first century

This article reports on a study of a networked learning approach among remote social work practitioners in a large, rural local authority. The intervention was a blended approach that combined facilitation, face-to-face meetings, online communications and access to e-library resources.

The intervention was focused on discussions of case management issues for three fictional cases. A method of text analysis used in community of enquiry research was implemented to examine participant discourse.

Findings indicate that practitioners developed a community of enquiry that privileged face-to-face communication. Online resources were primarily used as supplementary communication. Practitioners engaged with the community of enquiry approach and used explicit knowledge to inform discussions of case planning.