Developing subject-based online communities for students

I’m interested in developing online spaces for (mostly undergrad) students to access throughout university careers. Many libraries have subject research guides online, but I’m thinking of a more interactive space which students can access as needed to supplement research instruction, learn about and discuss digital tools in their disciplines, plus [your activity idea here].

Has anyone developed these types of communities (library-based or based on majors, interdisciplinary programs)? What platforms are best for hosting these types of communities? What is the role of the community builders (librarians, subject faculty): facilitator, guide on side, info provider, discussion leader, respond to questions?

How can students be encouraged to participate? Would they participate?

I’d welcome any responses to these questions here on the blog even if we don’t have this as a session today.

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About Heather Martin

I'm Reference Librarian for Arts and Humanities at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the jill-of-all-trades for people and info related to English, music, philosophy, theatre, communication studies, foreign languages, and art at UAB. I also coordinate scholarly communication education at Mervyn H. Sterne Library. I'm interested in using digital tools to develop student communities around research skills in the humanities. Current likes are knitting, green smoothies, and "Supernatural."

2 Responses to Developing subject-based online communities for students

  1. David Malone says:

    I don’t know if this would work for you.

    http://commonsinabox.org/

  2. Thanks, David! I’ll check it out.

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