This study investigated the role of the social media niche of micro blogs in workplace learning. Micro blogs consist of messages containing fewer than 140 characters that are sent to a broad audience. Using the #lrnchat group as a case study, a mixed method study was designed. Through a survey followed by in depth interviews, the researcher sought to understand how micro blogs are being used currently to support workplace learning and whether the micro blog group functioned as a community of practice. Once participants discovered #lrnchat, they had a high level of engagement with the group. The information shared in the group is of value in the workplace to participants and is used on a weekly basis. When compared to other sources of professional development, the #lrnchat group ranked high in terms of the timeliness of responses received and the quality of information provided by the group. During the interview, participants were asked about best practices in participating in a micro blog group for the purpose of learning. The responses included being selective on who they follow on the micro blog and avoiding trying to read everything that comes through on the feed. When determining whom to follow on a micro blog, a user is determining what kind and quality of information to add to their individual feed. For this reason it is important to be selective on what streams one chooses to follow. Also, when consuming information from the feed, it is important to take in what is possible and not try to read everything as it becomes overwhelming and loses value. The final finding was that measurements of open communication, shared vocabulary, recalling previous lessons, and learning from one another all indicated at some level that the #lrnchat group functions as a community of practice.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (EdD) -- Organizational leadership; Organizational learning; Organizational effectiveness; Employees -- Effect of technological innovations on; Microblogs; Online social networks

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Polin, Linda;