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University of the Arts London

Virtual proximity: Peer-learning within self-reflective networks


In the past twenty years, we have seen an exponential growth of virtual environments that have made collaborations across borders possible. Younger generations have grown-up immersed in these environments, which has led to the expectation that – due to their ‘digital-nativeness’ – they thrive in virtual spaces. However, this social construct can be misleading and has proven wrong in recent years, making it a significant source of anxiety in e-learning. Using a hybrid course called ‘PORTFOLIO’ as a case study, this paper addresses the ways in which a Learning Portfolio based course framework can be integrated into e-practices in order to negotiate such anxieties and, ultimately, nurture more cosmopolitan attitudes to the digital world, which the Cambridge dictionary defines as having experience of many different places and things (Audi, 2015).


digital cosmopolitan, Learning Portfolio, open-source technologies, peer-to-peer learning, soft technologies, virtual spaces


Supplementary File(s)

Virtual Proximity: Peer-Learning within Self-Reflective Networks

Author Biography

Niberca Polo

Niberca Polo is a Parsons graduate from the Communication Design Department. She launched her Graphic Design studio—Myellow Boots—in 2005. Niberca is engaged in Social Justice activism, currently acting as Faculty co-chair of The New School Social Justice Committee, and as part of the advisory board of CVSA, a non-profit organization that organizes volunteers. Niberca teaches Art and Design at Parsons, The New School for Design and CUNY, College of Staten Island (CSI). She was one of the coordinators of the Digital Learning Portfolios project at Parsons SPACE, and served as Learning Portfolio Specialist at Carnegie Hall Educational Programs.


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