In recent years online and blended communities have become a popular topic among educationalists. In this paper we present a framework that supports the analysis, development and maintenance of online and blended communities. This is applied to two community case studies that differ along several key dimensions such as type of membership, the purpose of the communities, their policies and size. The analysis draws attention to the differences between the two types of communities. It also highlights the advantages and weaknesses of the framework with respect to these two case studies and suggests areas for future development. In the discussion that follows we highlight some key differences between this framework and Wenger's work on Communities of Practice (COPs).
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