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Journal of Information Systems Education

Abstract

The increased social fragmentation in the fast-paced lives of individuals, particularly college students, is resulting in many dysfunctional effects - disappearance of community feeling, the inability to relate to one another, an impaired ability to collaborate with others, and greater obstacles in collaboratively constructing knowledge. Oldenburg's (Oldenburg, 1989) "third place" concept provides a refreshingly new metaphor to conceptualize how technology-mediated interactions can help solve the problem of fragmentation by enhancing the sense of community. In the specific context of information systems (IS) education, an on-line third place can not only enhance the sense of community among students, but can also prepare students for careers in learning organizations that operate in complex, dynamic, and global environments. Our preliminary attempts to implement an on-line third place within an IS program indicate increased dialogue among students on course topics as well as an enhanced quality of their social networks.

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