During this development phase, the I-Collaboratory concept originated. The I-Collaboratory, a social network for our informatics community, distinguishes us from other graduate programs. The I-Collaboratory was established in 2001 to support our online program. The purpose of the I-Collaboratory was to create a learner-centered environment to support, socialize, mentor and connect students who are engaged in computer-mediated learning. The intent was to decrease learner's feelings of isolation, increase satisfaction, insure quality educational experiences, facilitate professional socialization, retain students and help form connections in the world of health care informatics. The I-Collaboratory served as a framework to create learning partnerships among fellow colleagues; between faculty and learners; between peer mentors and learners; between learners and role models with similar backgrounds, across disciplines (nursing, medicine, psychology, communications or computer science), environments (urban or rural), interests, and between learner and future employers.
The first I-Collaboratory platform was Web4M. It allowed students to chat with each other, use VOIP services, attend real time presentations, review recorded presentations, read job posting and enter into discussions with other colleagues. There was also space for private file and discussion space for individuals. With the evolutions of Web 2.0 tools, the I-Collaboratory now uses social networking tools. This virtual social network allows students 1) to attend webinars related to issues in leadership and learn about career opportunities, 2) participate in an online journal club to examine research, 3) participate in community forums, 4) contribute their knowledge and experience to blogs, 5) interact with colleagues, faculty, alumni and nurse leaders and 6) build their network and connections in health care informatics.
Follow us on Ning