Key findings and ideas

A key conclusion looking across all the findings is that professional collaboration and knowledge sharing is powerfully supported when the teachers, as learners, belong to a Community of Practice (CoP) where different forms of knowledge and expertise are developed, shared and refined in response to the tasks that the community face.

Forms of Evidence

The findings that are presented have been offered by members of five professional organisations who have each found different key terms for different approaches to the same kind of collaborative learning: Communal Constructivism; Braided Learning; Liminal learning(add). An umbrella term has now emerged that includes all these approaches: Rhizomatic Learning. This is a metaphor that refers to the complicated, intertwined roots of a rhizome that feed the plant above ground (add picture here).

Emerging technologies used in the research with participants

Everyone in the ‘room’ shares their ideas on a range of software and apps that  allow the  expression of ideas as the debate moves forward. Devices ranging from conventional desktop and laptop computers, through netbooks and tablets to smartphones, coupled with web-based applications – collaborative concept mapping; wikis; video streaming; web conferencing – have supported collaboration and community across a diverse range of settings, geographical locations and time zones.


The rhizome learning metaphor was first coined by the poststructural philosophers Deleuze and Guattari. Cormier's notion of rhizomatic learning allows educators to explore the process of learning with the rhizomatic lens. Rhizomatic learning posits that learning is a continuous, dynamic process, making connections, using multiple paths, without beginnings. Participants have recognised the power of this phenomenon and said that the notion could draw on the impact of Citizens Assemblies as a counter to  government ‘Nudge’ units.


The aim of this MESHGuide is to provide knowledge to university and school teachers about methods of learning collaboratively online. The guide brings together research about effective online learning that has been developed since 1992. Some research has been derived from practice based research practices where the teachers themselves have undertaken research in the classroom with their students.These students then decide which of their findings they can feasibly implement.


The context is the exploration of the value of democratic learning at online and face to face conferences and specialist gatherings in which everyone involved is treated as an expert, not just the speaker. In fact, several speakers are asked to contribute to a learning session with just key ideas from their practice, experience and research.

Online Collaborative Learning

John Cuthell, Helen Caldwell, Hanefa Osman, Christina Preston, Sarah Younie (MirandaNet Fellowship) | View as single page | Feedback/Impact
Rhizomatic Learning

My day


Going to hospital


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