Virtual Communities

Virtual Communities

Virtual Communities  provide an environment where collaboration across the Sheridan community could be organized into groups that shared a particular interest in common.  They are hosted and managed to encourage ad-hoc assembly and collaboration supporting areas of learning practice.

Quick Links to Virtual Community Resources

Terms of Reference


Collaboration is an on-going concern for academic innovation. Virtual Communities satisfy this need with the following rationale for fostering collaboration from within SLATE:

  • Familiar Environment – Teaching and learning users within SLATE have expressed a desire to extend the learning of scheduled classes to the sharing of discoveries in common areas of interest.
  • Institutional Inclusion – Communities will form along lines of common interest more so than roles. This implies the potential inclusion of all staff and students where SLATE has an existing support model.
  • Collaboration Functions – The sharing of knowledge is integral to communities just as it is with academic instruction. Adopting existing collaboration tools enhances the return on investment for SLATE.
  • Operational Capacity – Collaboration is vital and depends on a robust systems platform akin to the operational provisions of SLATE.


Virtual Communities are intended to facilitate communities of interest across Sheridan where members form associations to share knowledge, practice and enthusiasm outside of the scheduled learning context.

Guiding Principles

In consideration of the boundless scope of innovation and collaboration, Virtual Communities need only follow these guiding principles:

  • Autonomous – The assembly of Virtual Communities will be self-directed however, at least one member will be held accountable for site administration.
  • Furnished – A suite of collaboration tools is available within Virtual Communities however, support and enhancements will be provided in line with overall allocations to academic use.
  • Collegial – However formal or informal the decorum and rules of order within a Virtual Community, the ‘Acceptable Use Policy’ is in effect.
  • Relevant – Whatever the subject matter within a Virtual Community, the ‘Acceptable Use Policy’ is in effect.


Virtual Communities will facilitate:

  • The sharing of knowledge and the creation of social networks.
  • Academic innovations from the synergies of community insights.
  • The invigoration of classroom learning with community sharing.