Communication and engagement is vital to creativity, yet how do differing communication methods influence creativity? This research summarizes a five year study, involving over five hundred participants from a range of different locations, cultures and ability levels. Comparing online digital communities and the more common face-to-face communities, this project studied how participants engaged in learning, interactions and the development of creative outcomes. Overall the online communities were highly successful in transfer of information, in fact more effective than face-to-face. Despite this, the participants in online communities indicated a sense of detachment and a lack of true community. This demonstrated a key weakness of online communities, yet this sense of detachment also led to a significant amount of risk taking in creative projects. The relative anonymity of online communities led to bolder creative risks being taken and broadly better outcomes being achieved. The research also identified areas where online communities showed the ability to be more inclusive. Members of groups usually distanced by issues such as language, culture and disability found online communities more accessible and this was demonstrated in their improved creative outcomes. These findings highlight some of the less obvious, yet valuable strengths that online creative communities can contribute

Presented at Conferences

  • E-Learn 2012 (2012)

    Montreal, Canada