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Abstract

In the summer of 2008, after a change in leadership, the Graduate Instructional Designer Association at UMass Boston embarked on a project to connect students, faculty and alumni in an online space. It was believed that this space, unrestrained by the spatial and temporal constraints of classroom learning, would help connect students with each other and with alumni so that they could extend the learning that occurred in the classroom, be that a physical classroom or an electronic classroom on Blackboard. This was not the first attempt at creating such a community of practice; however it has been the first successful attempt to date. This article explores our goals and how this community has successfully met them, as well as limitations— such as helping members overcome a perception of social media fatigue—that we still need to overcome in order to improve our community and to extend learning outside of the classroom. Helping members overcome such fatigue enables them to better help the community by contributing more content and greater net presence, thus contributing to the overall learning experience.

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