Workgroup types

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Yay, I'm understanding. I think my problem was that workgroup is defined much more narrowly than I first thought. Here's an example of how I now understand the difference between a "Workgroup" and a group that's working on a project. The newly established Workgroup:Learning_design is a workgroup because its charge is to oversee the development and use of pedagogical templates. Pedagogical templates are a core WE resource that impact nearly all of Wikieducator, thus necessitating that the group that oversees them needs to work under some sort of guidelines/policy/oversight. And because the "Workgroup" is called learning design, if other learning design resources come along, this would be the group to manage them. OK, I didn't see that bit before. In contrast, the Learning_Design Project is focused on learning about learning design, and creating and implementing potential resources/ideas to help the process of creating learning environments. It is this project/group that could potentially devise a new community-wide resource that would be passed to the learning design "Workgroup." This project/group evolves as interest ebbs and flows.

Workgroup has such a broad meaning that I think more needs to be said in the definition, in particular that this document refers only to the "Workgroup:" namespace. I think the definition could subsume the "types" section. Here's a suggestion.

Workgroup refers to a group of WikiEducators working together to achieve a common community goal: the development of guidelines, policies, and technology-related changes that will have a community-wide impact. Workgroups are organized in the "Workgroup" namespace. A Workgroup can be initiated by any member of the WikiEducator community and will be established as needed for the specific purposes of the Council in accordance with the Open Community Governance Policy.

I think, in conclusion, I agree with Peter that community groups are not the kind of "Workgroups" we are talking about. What's needed are groups to help govern, to be stewards and shephards, to draft policy and guidelines, in many cases initiated by the community and always with much community input.

ASnieckus (talk)10:48, 3 June 2009

Hi Alison,

Good refinement of the definition -- this has been a very useful discussion and attests to the value of collaboration in that more eyes produce better quality :-)

Peter makes a very important point --- in that Community governance is accountable to the community --- hence the importance for the community to have the freedom to convene workgroups that may ultimately lead to site-wide policy. The task of the Community Council, in my view is to ensure due process and transparency in the stewardship of our collective project.

At the same time -- we should encourage innovation, ownership and freedom for individuals and groups to self-organise around specific projects.

You're right -- workgroup does have a broad meaning -- so we need to get the definitions right in the policy guidelines for work groups.

Looks like we're at the point where we can amend the draft definitions and start thinking about process, how work groups are formed, how they operate and liaise with WCC. What are the minimum requirements before a workgroup can submit a proposal for consideration by Council etc.

Mackiwg (talk)11:47, 3 June 2009

Interesting thread. My current client is Continuing Legal Education BC and we were having a discussion regarding governance and the documents that describe the organization. The charter, mission statement, any of the founding documents, etc. As a governance committee we are bound to ensure what is described in these legal founding documents is followed. And if changes are required we go through due process to make the changes... Given the recent changes in WikiEducator becoming its own entity, shouldn't all members of the council read over all these new documents?

Prawstho (talk)21:52, 3 June 2009

I revised the definition of workgroup, revised even from my earlier suggestion in an effort to clearly define the narrow sense of the word in this instance. Am suggesting changing Workgroup Types to something else to avoid the delineation problem. It may be that the process differs for community-established and Council-established WGs, and we'll need to reinstate types. But thought it's worth considering Workgroup as one thing to start. I titled the revised section Establishing WE Workgroups...for now. Needs more thought on what else is required to make a workgroup.

ASnieckus (talk)16:23, 4 June 2009

Hi Alison,

I like the revised definition -- it works for me and is clear.

The concept of "Official WikiEducator Workgroup" is a workable concept -- I thought of the alternative of using "Sanctioned Workgroup", but it doesn't seem to fit the spirit of open communities.

One option to clarify this further is to add a definition for "Official WE Workgroup" as a Workgroup instituted and opertating under these policy guidelines -- I'll add this in the definitions. We can always modify and/or remove if necessary.

Changing workgroup "types" will also help delineate the problem. Let me think ....

Mackiwg (talk)16:44, 4 June 2009

OK -- with the addition of the "Official WE WG" definition -- we can now substitute each instance in the policy refering to an Official workgroup with the concept of "Official WikiEducator Workgroup" -- if you know what I mean :-)

Mackiwg (talk)16:49, 4 June 2009

I'll try out replacing with "Official WikiEducator Workgroup."

I do have one reservation --Official WikiEducator Workgroup is quite a long name. I wonder if it'd be easier for us if we defined the capital-W version of Workgroup to be the Official WikiEducator Workgroup, for the purposes of these policy guidelines.

Agree that we can reconsider later, time to move on.

ASnieckus (talk)13:57, 5 June 2009