This volume explores the theoretical, design, learning, and methodological questions relevant to designing for and researching web-based communities to support the learning process. Coming from diverse academic backgrounds, the authors examine what we do and do not know about the processes and practices of designing communities to support educational processes. Taken as a collection, the chapters point to the challenges and complex tensions that emerge when designing for a web-supported community, especially when the focal practice of the community is learning.
Constance Steinkuehler is an Assistant Professor of Educational Communications and Technology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She is currently on leave to serve as a Senior Policy Analyst at the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Executive Office of the President to advise on national initiatives related to games and learning. Kurt Squire is an Associate Professor of Educational Communications and Technology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He is the Director of the Educational Research Integration Area at the Morgridge Institute for Research, a design and research lab that makes scientific discovery visible through the development of games and simulations for public understanding. Sasha Barab is a Professor in the Teachers College at Arizona State University, where he also holds the Pinnacle West Presidential Chair and is a Founding Senior Scientist and Scholar of the Learning Sciences Institute.