# OMD/MPII/Assignments

< OMD‎ | MPII

Randy Fisher aka Wikirandy

## Week 9 — Surprises, Critique, Conclusions. (Due Sunday, Mar 29)

Given Barclay's feedback, that I am likely farther behind than I thought I was ahead, I will focus on the surprises I have found thus far, with a sprinkling of critique and conclusions. No doubt, I will incorporate these in the final draft of my paper, and there will continue to be new surprises, critiques and conclusions along the way.

In developing this paper, I was surprised by the following:

• the importance of the project numbers - they allowed me to see patterns that were previously hidden, and deepen my thinking around what might motivate an educational institution to consider using a wiki as a collaboration platform for its educators.
• a missing critical ingredient - contextual information about complexity theory and self-organizaing behavior in an open evolving ecosystem / wiki space. Educators are making individual choices to behave in very individual ways, and collectively that is emerging into patterns of behavior that are unforeseen.
• using metaphors to understand behaviour in the wiki, and then compare and contrast this, with different metaphors in traditional education settings. For example, in the wiki, the self-organizing behaviour is reflected by a metaphor of an open adaptive learning system, whereas in some educational organizations, the metaphor is Organization as Political System (Morgan, 2006) with its own hierarchy, and limits to freedom. It then becomes much easier to identify where and when culture clashes, cultural resistance and power relations will present themselves, simply by recognizing the different metaphors.
• recognizing the role of WE's organizational and technical history in mitigating wiki use and adoption on the one hand, and because of this, the 'burden' of support falling to the larger community, to develop workarounds when the technology doesn't work
• the importance of WE's Core Group (Kleiner, 2003) in getting the project off the ground, and the importance of a core group within an educational institution to support wiki use and adoption, or give the signal to resist
• how important and influential a project leader could be within the wiki / open system, and in using scenario planning to chart a future that doesn't yet exist
• the vital tension & tradeoffs between open and closed systems - they actually learn and benefit from each other's existence

### Distinctions between Communications and Content

1. Communications as defined by: decisions, thoughts, threaded communications

• in traditional organizations: communications are privileged, rigidly structured, norms, roles, depends where you are in the organizational hierarchy
• in the wiki, it's different (depends on personal reputation, credibility within the project); there's greater 'freedom' against an organization's rules (yet sometimes, this freedom mitigates against greater use and adoption -
• Rules have a positive side, - they are also in place to 'protect' people
• in the wiki, users are forced to communicate to find content (even though all content and decisions are in the open)
• in traditional organizational structures users have access to content and the communication channels are restricted to certain levels

2. Content - no pre-imposed hierarchy / structure & low-value (initially)

• the user needs to consider how s/he will organize content, in a way that makes sense to him / her (i.e., this is the tradeoff for extreme flexibility)
• "content" is of low value (initially) - before it is updated, revised and localized (often with the help of other members in the community
• gaps in content development (on wiki)...reminsicent of content silos

### Conclusion(s)

• Educators collaborate on the basis of their Need for Power motivation - the ability to "do", to contribute...
• An open wiki results in better communication, as users are forced to communicate to find the content!
• Collaborative projects drive productive output (i.e., content development is faster, less money)
• Communities of Practice - support Participatory Learning and Engagement, satisfy motivational needs for affiliation; and mitigate cultural resistance, by offering a forum for dialogue and information sharing
• Cultural resistance / power relations challenges are predictable - the self-organizing wiki in the context of an educational institution) - and can be mitigated
• individuals and the system itself adapts, through double / multiple loop learning
• Magic number of five (5) people using a wiki at same time, to enable high productivity (i.e., using 'buckets' to store content until needed), building individual capacity for peer collaboration and competence

Different stakeholders derive different benefits:

• Open Systems / Open Communications
• no delay in feedback - to help revise / update content; peedy revision / updating cycle (30%+ performance improvement)
• ability to sense emerging patterns by tuning into sub-sonic frequencies (i.e., as animals are able to sense things that humans cannot
• enables quicker reaction times
• feelings of power, empowerment
• critical role of communities of practice around content / projects
• Closed Systems / Closed Communications
• delay in feedback, closed (bureaucratic) structure,
• gaps / silos in communication

### Paper Development, Process

• how quickly my own content loses its freshness and staying power; the emergence, organic evolution (and integration) of new ideas over time
• the cycle / ebb and flow of confusion and clarity
• the craft of 'research' - researching the research (that is grounded in empirical/ proven evidence (which is valid and reliable, and creates a solid foundation upon which to conduct a thought experiment
• assembling the Annotated TOC as a check against progress, assumptions and direction (valuable exercise)

### References

Kleiner, A. (2003). Who Really Matters. New York: New York. Currency Books. [A division of Doubleday.], ISBN 0-385-48448-8

Mclelland, David C. And Michael Burnham (1976). Power is the Great Motivator, Best of Harvard Business Review: Motivating People (2003).

Morgan, Gareth (2006). Images of Organization. Updated edition. Sage Publications.

### Assignment Instructions

"Information consists of surprise." You aren't learning anything unless it's different from what you expected.

This is a final round of critical thinking, this time mostly about your research design, whether it’s the classic before/after, test/control experimental method, for a proposed intervention, or some qualitative methodology. (Every method has its strengths and limitations.)

Assuming your TX consists of interpreting hypothetical findings from a classic experimental design (text/control, before/after measurements), the following questions would apply:

~ Were the results you expect to find in your TX strictly due to your problem-solving intervention, or might other factors (variables) have played an important part? The effect of these “confounding” variables is discussed by Babbie, in his book’s chapter on “Experiments,” especially under the topic, “Sources of Invalidity.”

~ Confounding variables need to be considered not just in terms of research design, but the specific organizational, cultural and human context in which you set your thought experiment. Your path analysis exercise from last term can help you parse out the effect of primary variables (IV and DV) and secondary ones (especially the one variable that you might wish to focus on as your CV, or contingency variable, to illustrate the point, “Yes A produces B, but that depends on C.”)

If you are NOT doing a classic experiment, but using qualitative methods for your project, then your critique would consist of laying out the strengths and weaknesses of that method, compared with a more quantitative approach, or perhaps compared with other qualitative approaches. This doesn’t have to be very elaborate — just a review of the reasons why you chose the method you did, and what you might be missing by not using a more traditional experimental design.

In your final draft, this critique might be part of the TX itself, or else part of one of your concept review chapter (especially if that chapter describes a qualitative method you’ve decided to use); or it may be a separate chapter that plays devil’s advocate on a broad range of issues, including your sources of information, research design, or the Western mindset that is so enamored with numbers.

To post this week: Just 100 words, maybe in the form of bullet points, about limitations that apply to your TX research method, or qualifications that you would make about the interpretation of your findings.

Remember, EVERY study has limitations. By pointing these out, you are not weakening, but strengthening your case, by showing your capacity for being a “critical consumer” of data, whether produced by you, or displayed on the web, or published in a scholarly journal. The better you are at qualifying your findings (and critiquing the sources of your information), the more clear you can make your message in the first and last pages. You can make a powerful, original, and memorable statement, if you’re fully prepared to qualify and second-guess it later. But if you can’t deal with those “devil’s advocacy” issues at all, you’re doomed to fall back on wishy-washy messages, and a hypothesis of so general that nobody (including you) will ever be able to test whether it’s true of false.

Surprises. Over the course of the term (and last term) you probably (hopefully) discovered some things. Nothing makes better reading — and better learning — than to come across sections of the final product that say something like, “I expected to find X, and most of the literature makes that assumption, but I was surprised to find Y.” Or “The literature strongly pointed to X, but there was one case study that turned out quite differently, and I decided to look at why that was so. All of a sudden I realized …” Or, “I would never have glimpsed that possibility if I hadn’t missed my plane and happened to see …”

Claude Shannon, the founder of information theory, had a theory that “information consists of surprise.” If your message (or research or database) only tells you what you expected, you get no new information. It’s only when you get what you didn’t expect that the information matters, and you learn.

So post here, very briefly, a couple of surprises you encountered this term. And save room in your final draft to elaborate on those, and surprise us some more.

## Week 5 — Re-Draft of your Concept Review (CR) (Due Sunday, March 1st)

### Self Organizing Ecosystems

Hi Tommy,

It's an interesting comment about six degrees of separation, but in a way, it doesn't really apply. In the wiki, folks come together on the basis of shared interest, in the context of a self-organizing ecosystem.

What I've begun to realize, is this self-organizing ecosystem, IS the reality, that's evident in real life. Organizations are structured in an almost unnatural way, devising structure to shepherd human behaviour and activity.

The process of "six degrees of separation" while neat, is no longer really necessary. It's more about easily connecting with one's neighbour who shares one's interest - forming communities and networks. One degree of separation or two, is enough to bridge the silo , and get things done ~ in a natural way. Self_Organization

Response to Natalie

Yes, KT and self-organizing ecosystems are really exciting stuff. However, at a practical level, organizations and leaders need time to evolve into thinking about how they can practically manage (and control!) all of this self-organizing stuff. The thing is, the only way they can get control, is to give up control! ...but try telling that to a manager, who is fearful about this in the first place, and the chief executive pressured for better quarterly results in a down economy. That's why it's great to have skunkworks projects - and glean lessons while the project is evolving.

Many organizations are tempted to give into vendors' approach and bumf: buy this piece of IT, and poof - everyone will be collaborating! Well, it doesn't work that way, and besides, in the Web 2.0/3.0 world, folks can see right through that approach, and vote with their inactivity.

Many organization too, trumpet out the words of participatory leadership, collaboration, engagement ~ the trouble is, that these are just words, not sustainable behaviour or well-thought out actions. The result becomes the same: the new-new thing, suddenly becomes the new-old thing, and just like so many old-old interventions - into the dust heap....

Soaking it in, sure makes a lot of sense to me. Diving into it is even better! <smile>

### See 603 - Week 5

"Self-organizing systems learn to learn and thus become intelligent enought to define their own fundamental operating criteria, behavour and identity. As double-loop learning diffuses throughout an organization, organizational stability disappears and new organizational orders -- such as self-organizing systems (or ecosystems) -- emerge from the internal dynamics of the organization rather than at the behest of top management." .. in Hatch, Mary Joe and Ann Cunliffe (2006). Organization Theory: Modern, Symbolic, and Postmodern Perspectives. Oxford University Press.

### Double Loop Learning

"As double-loop learning diffuses throughout an organization, organizational stability disappears and new organizational orders -- such as self-organizing systems (or ecosystems) -- emerge from the internal dynamics of the organization rather than at the behest of top management." (Hatch, p. 316.)

Double loop learning is an essential ingredient in the success of the WikiEducator project and community. WikiEducator is a self-organizing ecosystem, that is riddled with complexity and uncertainty (we see that as a positive!); where small roles morph into larger roles; where parts of large projects break off, and are added to smaller projects; and where the volunteer workforce, motivated by differing degrees of power, affiliation and achievement (McLelland, 1976), work together and in parallel to achieve their own particular objectives. WikiEducator is a learning community, and the wiki way, is closely connected to the open source hacker culture, where it's perfectly OK, and encouraged to learn from each other's successes and failures, and incorporate the learning into future iterations of software and / or content releases. The motto "build it, and they will come" is as much about attracting end-user educators, as it is about building an affinitive community of like-minded developers, hackers and engineers - who tinker with the guts of the machine / software, to make it better for a larger community. Double-loop learning is also about actually adding value to the community, and assists in building the community (also a community of support to WikiEd users), where the learning happens in Multiple Loops - hey, shall I go with "Multiple Loop Learning?

### Multiple Loop Learning or Complex Loop Learning

...is where learning happens in multiples, where users respond to complex iterations of content and/or software development (innovations), building on simple and complex forms, and informing subsequent generations of new ahas' insights, etc. Action Learning + Double Loop Learning + Mr. Spock's 3D Chess - lots happening at multiple levels, with different shades of organizational metaphor. Brain in some projects, culture, flux and transformation, etc. - OK, this needs work...But the idea is that there's a complexity and layering of learning, feedback and response that is not fully covered by the single or double loop descriptions.

WikiEducator works because the entire ecosystem is learning, growing, and morphing --- in multiple loops and bounds <smile> -Indeed, as Hatch says: "Self-organizing systems learn to learn and thus become intelligent enough to define their own fundamental operating criteria, behaviour and identity. (Hatch, p 316). WikiEd's Multiple Loop Learning processes enable a natural sustainability and scalability that tends not to be present in traditional organizational structures. Randy Fisher 22:48, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

#### References

Hatch, Mary Joe and Ann Cunliffe (2006). Organization Theory: Modern, Symbolic, and Postmodern Perspectives. Oxford University Press.

McLelland, David C. and Michael Burnham (1976). Power is the Great Motivator, Best of Harvard Business Review: Motivating People (2003).

Morgan, Gareth (2006). Images of Organization. Updated edition. Sage Publications.

#### Resistance: Individual & Organizational

• pushback, from uncertainty with a new form of "organization". well the "new, old form" of organization"
• Open_Philanthropy

Hi Barclay,

Yes, I think that I'm ready for this ~ flying up there in the nether regions with the eagles.

I'm also mulling over double loop learning, because I see those processes as essential to informing the individual and clusters of individuals in their own processing, interpretation and action. I'm thinking that the DLL (which in itself is an interesting abbreviation - Dynamic Link Layer, in Microsoft applications) is inadequate. That, in these self-organizing ecosystems, there's a more complex learning that happens and informs future actions. Call it Multiple Loop Learning or Complex Loop Learning I dunno, but 'actors' in these settings get feedback from what they do, the environment and this feedback is in turn amplified by ALL of what's happening both in the environment, and within themselves.

Anyways, this MA project has been quite an interesting ride, and if I'm going to get it done, I have place some limits on the depth to my exploration here... (pity!). I'm also connecting the dots to what you said last term, that once you find a good topic, it's pretty much limitless to how one can explore...

These days, I've become more absent-minded, as I drill down into these ideas and peek out from among the clouds....It is pretty bright and exciting up here... <smile>

References

DLL Definition. Retrieved March 4, 2009 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DLL.

## Week 4 — Rest & Reflection (through Sunday, 2/22/09)

Re: OER Foundation and Sustainability (Very Important Post

Retrieved February 17, 2009 from https://mail.google.com/mail/?zx=k3ex7niqvzt2&shva=1#inbox/11f86a80c6f06b11

Gurrell, Seth (2008). OER Handbook Version One: Models & Approaches ~ The Cathedral and the Bazaar. Retrieved from http://www.wikieducator.org/OER_Handbook/educator_version_one/Introduction/Models_and_approaches February 19, 2009.

## Week 3 — Devil's Advocacy (Due Sunday, 2/15/09)

• Re: Stephen Downes post

"Research and discovery, meanwhile, does not consist of striking insights and critical experiments, but is rather a community practice of dialogue and interplay. Nothing is conclusively proven or refuted, but rather, a consensus slowly emerges out of a welter of studies and papers, a consensus not only on the nature of theory and the nature of the world, but also of the language we use and the criteria we accept for proof and evidence."

#### Culture, Local Culture, Context

Local culture – tall poppy syndrome, etc. ~ Action research is highly contextual, and guided by a sense of time and place. Local history matters; local culture, opportunities and constraints are as important as abstract models of change. Action research needs to be conducted in place, in the context of partners on the ground.

### Technology, Collaboration, Fear & Resistance

Ch. 18, Paradox, Eve's comment Eva, OK, to your comment. You’re right about the fear and resistance faced by educators. It IS a real issue, particularly in the world of the wiki, which can seem like Greek to many people, at least getting going…. (What I’ve observed though, is the difficulty is in registering and confirming a WikiEducator account(!), and that is the most confusing thing of all….Once folks get that, and get their preferences set, the likelihood of greater usage is much higher. Why is this complicated? Because the software was created by geeks….and they don’t have enough money to make it more user-friendly. Additionally, there are political complications which one never sees, but are there nonetheless, so changes can’t be immediately made because one person sees the need for it. There are consensus processes and others, that against mitigate swift resolution.

#### Three (3) Things

• fear and resistance to technology, within the context of an educational institution. (Eve raised this and I agree). Certainly, not every educator is going to embrace the wiki way, or even the approach. And this has to be factored into the analysis.
• interviewer / research design bias. (thanks to Joe for raising this). I hadn’t thought about how my selection of “improvements” could impact the final results, nor how my selection of specific content communications could impact the results. It’s similar to the reporter who writes a 30-sec. news item from 90 min. of recorded tape. In weaving together the story, its easy to lose contextual and factual meaning in developing the story.
• an examination of the project numbers. Thus far, I’ve found this section (and the devil’s advocacy, of course!) to be really exciting. I was astounded to find out the real economic benefit to educational institutions (i.e., what a 30 per cent increase in performance actually means). I’ve revisited and revised the numbers since, and taken the analysis to a deeper level too, and realized that there are multiple scenarios depending on available resources, salaries, and cultural and historical approaches to curriculum development and revision, in the context of peer collaboration using a wiki platform. Moreover, it’s allowed me to “see deeper” into the motivations of educators using the wiki, not just in terms of learning wiki skills, but actually using the wiki for a productive means towards a tangible economic end. Ahh, the Safari is in the details! <smile>

I am focusing on motivation, not necessarily fear and resistance ~ so yes, these are factors, and they would be important to include somewhere….perhaps in the section you mention, as well as in the Devil’s Advocacy…. Perhaps I’m seeing something that looks like motivation, but it really is resistance of some form (that would likely be some kind of “power”, but not exactly as McLelland would define it… Perhaps someone else – even Bridges, in his work with fear, resistance and transition.

References Bridges, William (2003). Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change, 2nd edition. Perseus Books Group

From Andragogy to Heutagogy<http://ultibase.rmit.edu.au/Articles/dec00/hase2.htm> and Barbara Dieu's reference on WikiEd Mailing list, Feb. 18, 2009 http://ultibase.rmit.edu.au/Articles/dec00/hase2.htm and http://www.sloan-c.org/node/1370

There is also a wiki which explores the continuum between Pedagogy,Andragogy and Heutagogy :-) http://learnergeneratedcontexts.pbwiki.com/Heutagogy

## Week 2 —Thought Experiment (and Safari) (Due Sunday, 2/8/09)

(: Thought Experiment)

A thought experiment (TX) is simply an approach to thinking through the consequences of taking an action, in a way that emphasizes critical thinking — questioning assumptions, considering the “what ifs,” and analyzing potential consequences, both positive and negative. (The "action" of the action research component).

It's up to you whether you have a specific chapter called "Thought Experiment", but a good chunk of the final paper should be devoted to an examination of "findings" (real results of a real intervention, or reflections on "what if" outcomes of a TX). In either case, be sure to look at both (a) objective measures of anticipated benefits, (b) systematic devil's advocacy scanning of possible negative outcomes.

• Be sure to see [Feedback (Phase I)]
• Also, Derek Chirnside's "Bucket" image
• Conclusion: univ. with 700 staff, 1200 courses, revising 15% can achieve $400K savings per year • Norm Friesen, TRU Reference: http://learningspaces.org/n/cv.html • Sean Gaffney and Ivan Jensen, quoting "Scott's understnaind of organizations as open, dynamic (RF complex, self-organizing) "systems of interdependent activities linking shifting coalitions of participants; the systems are embedded in - dependedent upon continuing exchanges tiwht and constituted by - the environments in which they operate". (Scott, 1998, p. 25)" • also, another evaluation measure - increased performance (30%) as reported by Derek, Randy, Nellie and others - measured in exit, and interval surveys #### KT & Self-Organization Response to Jane and Tommy: Hi Jane, There are many points of entry into the wiki-world, and it depends on the person's role, function and interest. It's not a one-size fits all kind of environment, which in a way, creates a great deal more chaos than certainty. It's part of the fun, and the confusion. Regarding your frustration with the "registration" process, you're right....it IS frustrating and tricky. It's partly due to limitations in the software itself, and the fact that it was developed by real computer software engineers, not warm, soft and fuzzy types like you n' me. Because the project is housed with the Commonwealth of Learning, it has not been able to invest in software improvements to make it better ~ however, by the summer of this year, software improvements are more likely to happen as WikiEd moves from COL to sit under an independent nonprofit entity, called the OER Foundation - Open Education Resouces. So, as a workaround, we have a great deal of facilitator support to the courses, and all one has to do is ASK, and WAIT for the response. I can't tell you how many times I've supported folks who, don't follow this simple instruction - and instead try to figure it out for themselves, and get so frustrated in the process. Human behaviour, eh? In addition, new users who throw themselves on the mercy of the community (well, that's a bit dramatic, eh?) but take the time to share their frustration, and ask for specific help - are likely to get it...because there are folks trolling the community, looking to help others, just like you... But if you don't ask, they won't know...:-( There is a strong community angle / ethos to this project. Soo, if you're still interested, please do let me know, and as both a Wikineighbour and Wikimaniac(!) I'll do my best to help you out! - Randy ##### References Koerner, Brendan I., editor (2006).The best of technology writing 2006. Ann Arbor : University of Michigan Press and University of Michigan Library. Retrieved full text 9 February 2009, from http://www.hti.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=bot;;idno=5283331. That URL will take you to The Best … 2007 and 2008, so click on the 2006 edition, then the table of contents, then the title of each chapter for the full text. But I think it’s definitely worth buying the whole book ($18 paperback).

The best chapters (as illustrative case studies for wiki-type self-organized enterprizes):

Pp. 54-69: Clive Thompson, “The Xbox Auteurs.” (from the New York Times Magazine, 7 Aug 05, which might also be available free online)

Pp. 85-89: Steven Johnson, “Why the web is like a rain forest.” From Discover magazine, October 2005. Johnson has written a good book on self-organized systems: Johnson, Steven (2001) Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software. New York: Scribner.

Pp. 106-121: Daniel H. Pink. “The book stops here.” From Wired, March 2005.

Pp. 248-263: Jesse Sunenblick. “Into the Great Wide Open.” From Columbia Journalism Review. January/February 2005.

### Assignment Content

#### (a) Independent Variable: Proposed Intervention

There are two challenges regarding educator motivation in a collaborative wiki space.

1. Educator-authors' lack of confidence in their ability to use wiki skills
2. Educator-authors' lack of understanding of how to operate within wiki culture

My proposed intervention is to use an accelerated wiki skills workshop format (specifically designed to increase educators’ skills and confidence) as a case study.

This ‘accelerated’ version, will be 5 days instead of 10 days, and integrate prior learner feedback and follow-on revisions. The results will be compared against (1) past workshops; and (2) prior measures of effectiveness.

Innovations used in this accelerated workshop include:

• The 5-day wiki skills workshop version
• Using a feedback page for direct wiki communications
• Providing enhanced facilitator support for WE account registration and setup (i.e., modifying preferences for automatic administrator email notifications)
• A post-workshop evaluation instrument, utilising predefined definitions of measurement in terms of power, achievement or affiliation (or degrees therein) might be developed and used. Problems include: who's doing the definining, is it really measuring what it's supposed to be measuring; also, is it consistent with the research method chosen - unobtrusive measures and content analysis.

#### (b) Dependent Variable: Measuring Benefits

The following measures will help assess Educators’ Motivation in an educational institution (i.e., Otago Polytechnic) that has embraced WE as collaborative OER development platform.

They include:

1. Number of user accounts registered on WE
2. Rate of conversion from new users to active contributors on WE
3. Number, diversity and growth of active contributors on WE

It would be simple enough to measure the number of user accounts registered on WikiEducator, yet this would not be an adequate measure in isolation. A better measure would be the rate of conversion from new users to active contributors on WikiEducator.

This measure shows that WE's are migrating from their 'Newbie' status to a more active role. An Active Contributor is an Otago educator-author who has completed the skill requirements associated with the WikiBuddy level which includes creating and inserting wiki-pedagogical templates; developing one lesson or content resource for WE; and adopting another user in the Otago WE community. This is equivalent to 75 edits over a 5-day period (in an L4C wiki skills workshop. WE defines Active Contributors as having more than 100 edits per month. Active Contributors will be engaged in organizational meetings and discussions (on- and off-wiki), starting new WE projects, contributing to their colleagues wiki pages and beginning to collaborate in an effective meaningful way. They will also be better positioned to understand the nuances of the wiki culture (i.e., how to exercise 'professional courtesy' with colleagues on-wiki); how to develop taxonomies for the lack of organization; and how resources and knowledge can pool in the Otago WE Community.

They will begin to experience the aha's and insights associated with the wiki experience: just how powerful the software is, and how they can improve individual performance and productivity, and migrate to just-in-time learning without facilitator support. Active Contributors will experience greater control over their performance; exhibit greater influence and leadership in their communities; and experience lower levels of stress and anxiety in the Otago WE Community. As the conversion rate increases, it is an important indication of the maturity of the Otago WE community and project development space, and an indicator of the potential for meaningful project collaboration ahead.

## Core Hypothesis

Educators from learning organizations are drawn to WikiEducator for three motivational needs: (1) power; (2) achievement; or (3) affiliation.

## Abstract

Pioneering educator-authors are contributing their energies, skills, talents and perspectives to the global WikiEducator community and contributing to open education resource (OER) projects - while working with established academic/learning organizations. Motivated by self-interest and a need for achievement, affiliation and power and varying forms of compensation, a growing global cluster of strategically-minded individuals and learning organizations are developing a scalable and sustainable model for free and open education. Educator-authors are engaging in meaningful collaboration, and experiencing and increased performance and productivity in the context of a complex, self-organizing ecosystem.

## Research Method

As a Thought Experiment, the research method will use and analyze several interventions, based on secondary data sources (described below). The analysis may consider what if the intervention does not achieve the proposed hypothesis, and examine further, what may or may not be responsible. For example, as the WikiEducator experience is based in a complex, self-organizing model, the intervention is taking place within the context of a educational institutional bureaucracy, steeped in the local New Zealand culture. While it may have a more liberal copyright regime, and a more flexible community orientation (i.e., polytechnic vs. university), particular organization system dynamics may account for differing results, and lead to a greater understanding of human motivation within this particular environment.

## Data Sources

In seeking to prove my hypothesis that educators are motivated by the need for power, achievement and/or affiliation, I will be focusing on discovering patterns that recur in different times and places (Babbie, 2008, p. 350) - namely, in public, recorded pronouncements and dialogue within open communities and sub-communities; online and offline meetings (recorded); or on public fora such as the main WE Discussion Group (formerly, the WE Mailing List), on Google Discussion Groups. http://groups.google.com/group/wikieducator, or within related community discussion groups and WE nodes / spaces. This paper focuses on using unobtrusive, non-reactive measures to research educators' motivations in the context of a public, online and complex, self-organizing wiki community. These measures will also serve as a countervail to the substantial number of biases potentially introduced by the interviewer (myself), as I am an active member of the WikiEducator community. A caution however is in order, because there may be some selection bias in my choice of unobtrusive measures, to validate my hypothesis.

### Joe

Are you saying that you are going to interpret the dialogue you obtain to decide whether users are motivated by the need for power, achievement and/or affiliation. If so aren’t your biases going to affect the results as well as if you asked the users why they are doing what their doing ?

#### Response to Joe

Good eye Joe, good eye. Excellent catch.

You're quite right.

The more I read about doing research, the more I realize that there's a bias to everything. I remember reading cases in 601 and 602, and looking for what works and did not. Little did I know, you could take a look at the research method, and the interviewer's style, or the way the question was formed, or the reactivity of the interviewer, or the increasing knowledge of the interviewer, as a form of bias on the actual results. Sheesh, you have to be a Ph.D. to know all of this! (Secretly, it's what the Ph.D. cabal really wants.... company! <smile>)

One way to address this, would be to add a post-workshop evaluation to the intervention, utilising predefined pre-defined measures indicating motivation in terms of power, achievement or affiliation (or degrees therein) as defined by some expert in the field, a Delphi Method (i.e., a panel of independent experts), or some level of consensus among people in-the-know.

Still, there would be problems including:: who is generating the definitions; is it really measuring what it's supposed to be measuring (validity); reliability concerns; also, is it consistent with the research method already chosen - unobtrusive measures and content analysis; and what steps would have to be taken to minimize bias, and / or research / results contamination.

## Course Development: Wiki Production Model

### Savings via Collaborative Peer Production

• 30 per cent increase in performance.

700

### Total # of Courses @ Institution

1200-1600 courses (depending on definition of course)

• Assuming, conservatively 10% of courses need significant course development / revision per year: 1200 /1.10 = 120
• Number of courses needing development /revision X traditional course production= 120 x $5,411.93 =$649,431.82

• 2.53

### References

Light in the Shadows: The Dilemma of Addie. Retrieved February 2, 2009 from http://lits.gen.nz/category/learning-design/.

Derek Chirnside, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, NZ February 2, 2009. Private correspondence

WikiEducator Statistics. (2008). Retrieved December 5, 2008, from http://www.wikieducator.org/Special:Statistics

(: Additional Notes) In reflecting on my first post, in the 2nd era of Masters Project Development, I mentioned to Barclay, that I had achieved, conservatively, a 30% increase in performance, in using the wiki to do my data collection, writing and polishing.

In developing the "numbers" for this assignment, I spoke to several educators who have used the wiki, with the questions(s):

• Have you used the wiki for content development?
• To what extent, in terms of percentages, has using the wiki increased your productivity?

All of the people I spoke to, said that their productivity increase was >30%.

One, at the University of Canterbury in NZ, said that once specific techniques - such as bucketing (i.e., placing content in specific buckets that correspond to other course development activities) are mastered, the number could much higher, up to 50%.

Higher gains could be realized if a development team with a critical mass of five (5) people were involved in a wiki production project.

So, all's to say that, my intuition seems to be correct, at least among the folks I have interviewed.

### References

Light in the Shadows: The Dilemma of Addie. Retrieved February 2, 2009 from http://lits.gen.nz/category/learning-design/.

Derek Chirnside, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, NZ February 2, 2009. Private correspondence

WikiEducator Statistics. (2008). Retrieved December 5, 2008, from http://www.wikieducator.org/Special:Statistics

WikiEducator Statistics Reports (Tables & Charts). (2008). Retrieved December 5, 2008, from http://wikieducator.org/stats/reports/

(: Additional Notes) In reflecting on my first post, in the 2nd era of Masters Project Development, I mentioned to Barclay, that I had achieved, conservatively, a 30% increase in performance, in using the wiki to do my data collection, writing and polishing.

In developing the "numbers" for this assignment, I spoke to several educators who have used the wiki, with the questions(s):

• Have you used the wiki for content development?
• To what extent, in terms of percentages, has using the wiki increased your productivity?

All of the people I spoke to, said that their productivity increase was >30%.

One, at the University of Canterbury in NZ, said that once specific techniques - such as bucketing (i.e., placing content in specific buckets that correspond to other course development activities) are mastered, the number could much higher, up to 50%.

Higher gains could be realized if a development team with a critical mass of five (5) people were involved in a wiki production project.

So, all's to say that, my intuition seems to be correct, at least among the folks I have interviewed.

## References

Babbie, E. (2005) The Basics of Social Research. New York: Wadsworth (Third Edition—Paperback); ISBN #0-534-51904-0.

Brewerton, P. and Millward, L. (2001). Organizational Research Methods. Sage Publications (Paperback); ISBN: 0-7619-7101-7.

Gaffney, Sean and Ivan Jensen (2008). Trifocal Vision: A Practical Field Perspective on Organizations for Managers and Consultants. Gestalt Review, 12(2); 144:160.

Hudson, Barclay, and Gill Coleman (2008) Feasibility of Action Research (AR) as a curriculum addition to Fielding’s OMD Master’s Program. Final report (188 pp.) on a Fielding-sponsored two-year research project. Santa Barbara, CA: Fielding Graduate University, School of Human and Organization Development.

Scott, W.R. (1998). Organizations: Rational, Natural and Open Systems (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

Webb, Eugene J. (2000) et al. Unobtrusive Measures. Revised Edition. Sage Publications Inc. (Paperback)

• "The Organization is seen as a field of forces, dynamically self-organizing and self-regulating, in which change and constancy are relative and flux is a natural characteristic of the interplay of forces in the movements from constancy [stability] to change to constancy - and so on. Networks are typical both within an organization, and between it and other organizations." - (Gaffney, 2008 p. 154)

Nevis, Edwin. C., Ph.D., is co-founder and Board Chair of GISC. He and Sonia March Nevis also helped to found the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland and its OSD Programs. Author of Organizational Consulting: A Gestalt Approach, and Intentional Revolutions: A Seven-Point Strategy for Transforming Organizations.