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Caroline Haythornthwaite and Michelle M. Kazmer

In 1996 the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign began an Internet-based teaching program, allowing students across the United States – and the world – to earn a Master’s degree from a distance. The program, known as LEEP (Library Education Experimental Project), has been an outstanding success, and as an early innovation in Internet use, provides important lessons on how to flourish in an online environment.
Learning, Culture and Community in Online Education brings together significant new research on online education, using the LEEP program as a model to reveal a wealth of information about innovative online practices. Contributions by administrators, philosophers, faculty, librarians, technical staff, and researchers in the traditions of education, computer science, folklore, information science, and sociology, reveal the many perspectives to be taken into account when creating and maintaining distance learning programs. More than an analysis of the LEEP program, this book is an essential introduction to the variety of social and educational phenomena that occur within the socio-technical environments that support online learners.