User:Randyfisher/TORs/Case Studies

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Business Plan Development

Real Property Institute of Canada, CANADA, 2010

  • Challenge: To engage stakeholders to develop a 5-year 'evergreening' business plan, and ensure alignment with a renewed strategic vision, mission and mandate.
  • Process: Using an OD/change strategy and virtual / online collaboration and engagement process to support and mobilize stakeholders.
  • Results: Business plan developed.

Policy Development, Review & Recommendations

Health Canada Working Group, CANADA, 2010

  • Challenge: Rapid social media (wiki) development/deployment and facilitation of an inclusive and participatory pan-Canadian multi-stakeholder comment process for qualitative inputs to the final report of a Health Canada Working Group.
  • Process: Identified and gathered business requirements; surveyed and engaged stakeholders; used iterative, rapid prototyping to align and design synchronous and asynchronous workflows; developed learning and navigation tutorials; and provided facilitation and 7/24 technical support for a secure ICT/wiki deployment, use and adoption.
  • Results: Thirty-five (35) diverse stakeholders from across Canada (i.e., across domains, geography and time zones) provided 90 comments in seven days. A second round of comments were included. The comments were incorporated into the Final Report of a Health Canada Working Group.

Community-Building Strategy: Global Mediawiki Project (

The Commonwealth of Learning, Vancouver, CANADA

(Reporting to Wayne Mackintosh, Ph.D., Education Specialist, E-Learning & ICT Policy, COL)

  • Results: Helped grow the community to 12,000+ users in 120+ countries, and a top 100K website.

Instructional/ Workshop Redesign to Support Engagement

Policy Development & Governance

WikiEducator Community Council (OER Foundation), 2010

  • Challenge: Conduct an online 10-day meeting was held with the WikiEducator Community Council to develop policy and review outstanding issues in the global user community of 12,000 educators from 120+ countries. The 25 elected and appointed Council Members are leaders in open education and come from diverse cultures, time zones and perspectives (i.e., Australia, Canada, Commonwealth of Dominica, Israel, Germany, Ghana, Germany, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, Uganda, Samoa, South Africa, USA). Council Members from well-known institutions include: Erik Moeller, (Wikimedia Foundation); David Wiley (Brigham Young University) and Ahrash Bissell (Creative Commons Learn); Christine Geith (Michigan State University) and Ken Udas (UMass). Randy Fisher (aka WikiRandy), Senior Consultant, Intersol is an elected member of WikiEducator's Community Council.
  • Process: Using an open, transparent model of governance, the 3rd WikiEducator Community Council meeting (April / May 2010) took place openly in WikiEducator synchronously and asynchronously, using Mediawiki, a free software wiki package written in PHP, originally for use on Wikipedia. It is now used by several other projects of the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation and thousands of wikis around the world.

Knowledge-Sharing & Meeting Workflow

  • The Chair must have a sound knowledge of the practice and application of Parliamentary_Procedure
  • All participants need to be aware of Parliamentary Procedure, and ensure its use in all meetings - past, current and future (precedents)
  • Meeting Workflow: All meetings are conducted in accordance with Parliamentary Procedure, Roberts Rules of Order, and respects and appropriately adapts prior conventions used by successful wikis operating in open ecosystems (i.e., Wikimedia Foundation).

All Council Members have WikiEducator accounts and training in basic wiki skills and are able to use the wiki as an activities / discussion space for ideas, concerns and issues, notices, motions and votes. Accordingly, they are able to log in and 'sign' their name in attendance, and comment on motions and votes under development; active (requiring discussion and voting); and vote their approval, disapproval or abstention on votes (or any other business) of importance to them, their colleagues and the larger WE community.

All content (including draft documentation and prior discussions) are available in the wiki. This provides Council Members and the larger user community with an updated transcript for review and comment

Communications & Consensus-Building

Council Members were sent an email with a hyperlink to a page in WikiEducator, outlining the Aagenda, a progress update, approval of previous meeting minutes, approval of the current meeting agenda, old business and new business and action items for consideration.

Dedicated email forums (with threaded discussions) were used by members on a case-by-case basis to raise issues and concerns; however these individuals were encouraged to bring their comments and discussions into the wiki, so that all Council Members could see the communication and respond accordingly. Instant messaging and Voice Over IP (VOIP)phone calls were also used to support and remind Council Members about timely discussions, motions and votes taking place in the wiki. Communications were led by the Chair (Wayne Mackintosh).

Contentious issues were dealt with (i.e., discussion regarding embedding 3rd party media such as YouTube videos), leading to lively discussions from diverse viewpoints. Consensus is achieved through open and transparent dialogues taking place in the wiki, where Council Members can see colleague's stated interests and rationale for choosing one position or another. Straw dogs, consensus polling and prioritization criteria are developed prior to official voting (which also takes place in the wiki).

Communication of results is circulated via email using embedded links and threaded discussion fora to the larger WikiEducator Community, at the conclusion of the Council's business.

  • Results: A highly-productive asynchronous global meeting (which was extended by consensus) to cover issues of importance to the WikiEducator Community.

WE are pioneers in the evolution of open governance models with a healthy dose of radical transparency. Our meetings demonstrate a level of transparency, which to the best of my knowledge, have not been implemented elsewhere. It takes courage to cast votes openly in a wiki environment for our community to observe while the meeting is in progress combined with the fact that our votes, comments and interactions are recorded in perpetuity on the Internet. I express my personal thanks and gratitude for your committment in making OER futures happen. - Wayne Mackintosh, in email dated, May 14, 2010, 3rd Meeting of Council Adjourned. Retrieved from

Stakeholder Engagement: Community Website Redesign

Monterey Institute for Technology and Education, USA. 2009

  • Challenge: Engage and inform stakeholders to obtain their input and feedback on a redesigned website and growing online 'network community' (i.e., community colleges, consortia and districts of education).
  • Process: Facilitated community engagement, learning and performance for National Repository of Online Courses project. Supported the Director, Learning Design and (Operations/IT, Marketing Membership and Communications; Editorial Development and Leadership teams), and a software development partner, to: (1) align actions with organizational strategy and culture; (2) implement project actions; and (3) learn and use wiki and effective wiki and communications skills.
  • Results: Engaged stakeholders, streamlined workflow processes integrating with web redesign, kept project on track, and improved communications within and between departments.

Website Review: Community Engagement

OER Africa (South African Institute of Distance Education), South Africa. 2009

  • Challenge: To increase community engagement for web/ICT project; ease of navigation and general appeal.
  • Process: Systematically examined website content, graphic elements and navigational aids, in coordination with website manager. Used a synchronous action learning approach, with online communications tools, and WikiEducator as a production platform, to make changes and observe patterns in real-time.
  • Results: Increased website traffic, improved navigation and usability.

Membership Communications, Outreach & Advocacy

International Centre for Open Education / Open Education Resources (OER) Foundation, NZ, 2009

Social Network: African Youth for Peace

Commonwealth Youth Programme, Regional Centre for Africa, Lusaka, ZAMBIA, 2009

  • Challenge: To support the development of Youth4Peace project, a peacebuilding social network.
  • Process: Facilitated the development of open education resources, and a social network. Coached a local rapporteur to develop his skills, and build capacity in African NGOs.
  • Results: Developed an orientation manual, contributors' guide, reporting guidelines and monitoring and evaluation framework, and 2-day workshop.

Stakeholder Engagement: Sharing Teaching & Learning Strategies

University of British Columbia, Learning Exchange (Community Service Learning), Vancouver, CANADA, 2009

  • Challenge: Engage project managers in a Community Service Learning program to launch an online web portal to share best practices in teaching and learning, and their experience from planning, to ensuring safety, to project implementation and evaluation.
  • Process: Interviewed stakeholders (led by Brian Lamb, UBC Office of Learning Technologies); gathered requirements for CSL online web portal; developed use cases; coached project manager to engage project leaders; and co-developed workshops
  • Results: Developed an online web portal / community of practice for project leaders, faculty, students and partner NGOs in community service learning.

Communities of Practice

CoP: Community Media / Community Radio

The Commonwealth of Learning, Vancouver, CANADA

(Reporting to Ian Pringle, Education Specialist, Media, COL)

Phase I: Community Launch & Strengthening

  • Challenge: To: (1) connect Community Media practitioners internationally in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and South Pacific; (2) support the design and delivery of effective and culturally-appropriate media learning programs, best practices and reusable content for Organizational Development and Effective Media Learning Programs.
  • Process: An OD/change management strategy was designed and implemented applying action research, complexity, and cultural change theories, to build stakeholder engagement and alignment, 'buy-in' and ownership across cultures, and to support and accelerate knowledge-sharing and learning; collaboration behavior and skill-development; leadership and capacity-building. Virtual collaboration tools included a wiki (mediawiki), Google Groups, instant messaging, Voice Over IP (VOIP / Skype), telephone and face-to-face interventions. Core activities included:
  • Needs / Gap Analysis - (1) to review and analysis of existing "baseline" education resources identify gaps, quantity / quality issues and make suggestions for technical workflow and other improvements; (2) to identify current and prospective Community leaders; and (3) identify gaps in their skillsets, awareness and resistance to change, in expanding their leadership roles
  • Community Chartering, Expectations & Norms
  • Communications & Outreach Strategy - to share successes and actionable opportunities for improvement to internal and external Community stakeholders (including opinion leaders and 'tipping points').
  • HR/Community Engagement Strategy - to mobilize community ambassadors / advocates, and new contributors and users;
  • Training, Mentoring and Coaching - to build member skills development and 'experience of success' using a wiki;
  • Apprenticeship / Train-the-Trainer Model - to build internal capacity for growth, model and strengthen peer learning and relationships, and develop pride and ownership in an emerging community;
  • Facilitated Discussions- to support ongoing discussion, bridging and collaboration in a wiki space, a threaded discussion forum and face-to-face workshops.
  • Monitoring, Evaluation & Reporting
  • Results: Engaged stakeholders and opinion leaders in building a solid base of stakeholders for community growth and expansion.

Phase II: Community Growth & Expansion

  • Challenge: To facilitate the growth of an Community Media international community of practice and a repository of reusable content resources and best practices for: (1) the ongoing development of open educational resources; (2) Increasing the breadth and depth of community participation; and (3) facilitating engagement by partners and participants in online discussions and workshops, and COL's capacity building strategy.
  • Process:
  • Developed the Community Media space of WikiEducator (i.e., strategy, communicating objectives and key messages, and layout and site navigation);
  • Supported the participation and contributions of individuals and groups and proactively facilitated discussion and networking and collaboration in the Community Media node;
  • Identified and engaged potential new contributors and users of the Community Media space; supported members to fully engage in the community, including developing technical, wiki and facilitation skills;
  • Identified new materials and best practices and facilitated their development and/or inclusion in the Community Media node; communicated with partners and mobilised community resources in the further development of resources;
  • Reviewed and analyzed ‘baseline’ OER materials to identify gaps and make suggestions for improvements; contributed directly and substantively to the refinement of existing materials, workshop processes and organizational development practices.
  • Results: Expanded community of practice, in terms of numbers (20+ new organisational and 50+ new individuals members), and depth of participation (50+ new substantial postings by members); and increased quantity and quality of content on WikiEducator's Community Media node, including:
  • Capacity building materials associated with COL's media capacity building programme;
  • Training materials posted by community members;
  • Community members and their constituents have new skills in key areas (using media for learning; facilitating organizational development; collaboration and networking, etc.)
  • COL capacity building partners actively supported in engaging with the community and the wiki repository and in executing workshops;
  • Designed and provided facilitation support for a 'pilot' Organizational Development workshop for 33 NGOs / 99 women in Africa) at Radio Mang'elete (Kenya). Partners: ECONEWS Africa, COL, Radio Mang’elete, UNESCO and the Kenya Community Media Network.
  • Designed a regional facilitators' workshop in St. Vincent & the Grenadines and for the Caribbean Network of Community Multimedia Centres. Partners: COL, UNESCO.

CoP: HIV/AIDS & Community Radio

The Commonwealth of Learning, Vancouver, CANADA

CoP: Governance and Leadership

(Reporting to Tanyss Munro, Ph.D., Education Specialist, Governance, COL)

The Commonwealth of Learning, Vancouver, CANADA

  • Challenge: Support development of new practice area for COL; engage civil society stakeholders across cultures and historical experience.
  • Process: Used Action Learning and Appreciative Inquiry to:
  1. Develop Learning Design Toolkits for NGO governance;
  2. Conduct needs analysis input to social networking initiative of Commonwealth Youth Programme;
  3. Design in-country governance / leadership workshops and ODL planning sessions (Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands)
  4. Facilitated community discussions about governance on wikis, blogs and social networking fora.
  • Results:
  • Increased stakeholder engagement and participation in WikiGovernance & Learning4Peace project nodes on WikiEducator, and COLLaGE community discussions] (i.e., COL's Leadership, Governance and Empowerment Community.
  • Engaged 30+ stakeholders and opinion leaders in an Open and Distance Learning (ODL) Think Tank on Governance in London, UK (July 2008), attended by the World Bank, UN Development Programme (UNDP), Commonwealth Secretariat and Commonwealth Foundation, and regional organisations from developing countries.

E-Learning Tutor, United Nations & World Health Organization

The Commonwealth of Learning, Vancouver, CANADA

By-law Development and Governance Review

Community College Consortium for Open Education Resources (CCCOER)

  • Challenge:
  • Process: using Roberts Rules of Order; GTM, Google Docs + voting
  • Results:


Demonstrated knowledge and experience in performing review and evaluations using participatory based methodology in a non-profit community-based environment

The Council of Ontario University Programs in Nursing - Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner Program & Consortium, Ontario, Canada (in progress)
  • Conducting an operational review of the distance education functions of the PHCNP Program & Consortium of 9 Ontario universities. (The Program comprises 7 Master’s level courses towards a post-Baccalaureate certificate, Master’s degree or post-Master’s diploma). Activities include:
  • evaluating value for money of the components of the program;
  • making recommendations about how to optimize the use of existing distance education technologies in order to achieve optimal teaching/learning outcomes; and,
  • making recommendations on industry standards for the distance education delivery components of the program., Commonwealth of Learning, Vancouver, Canada
  • Conducted community building needs analysis; identified and analyzed fear, anxiety and resistance to change; increased user participation and community growth with knowledge of complexity theory, self-organization and Malcolm Gladwell's Tipping Points. Identified, surveyed and engaged potential contributors and established users to design and implement appropriate and timely performance interventions and facilitate thematically-focused learning communities and clusters; a Skills Certification Program; and capacity-building for Sustainable Projects, Communities & Networks.
One Change, Ottawa, Canada
  • Evaluation consultancy to document requirements and use cases for 2nd generation website integrating social media, user communities and three social responsibility campaigns. Conducted 1-1 and focus group interviews; analyzed results and presented recommendations.
New Brunswick Community College (Miramichi) & Branham Group, Ottawa, Canada
  • Co-managed a strategic planning / review process for an Action Plan for a Virtual Institute of Technology-Assisted Learning co-located at a community college. Worked with management and staff teams to develop, conduct and facilitate focus groups, surveys, public consultations and other diagnostic processes to evaluate organizational and community readiness for change/transition. Groups included local and regional business; provincial and federal government partners, Tele-Education NB and key technology associations. Identified and qualified 50+ partners and $30M in new business opportunities.

Demonstrated experience in development and management of healthy programs and organizations

Family Service Agency, Vancouver, Canada
  • As Program Coordinator, Job Match Services and Employment Counsellor - evaluated clients’ multicultural needs to design and deliver Canada Workplace Culture workshops; liaised with case managers and coached, mentored and counselled immigrant-job seekers to develop job-search strategies / training plans. Helped resolve conflict with cultural sensitivity and counseling skills. Performed gap analysis of paper-based job posting system; analyzed risks and optimized business processes, workload, productivity and communications.
Health Canada Sodium Working Group, Ottawa, Canada
  • Design and facilitation of an inclusive and participatory pan-Canadian multi-stakeholder comment process for qualitative inputs and health impacts for the final report of the Health Canada Sodium Working Group.
Commonwealth of Learning - Community Media Community of Practice
  • Designed, developed and evaluated communities-of-practice and learning programs, to support community leaders in sharing best-practices and interdisciplinary knowledge for capacity-building in public health, governance, higher education and community media programs in Asia, Africa, the Caribbean and South Pacific. Examples include: an HIV AIDS Treatment Literacy Portal (Africa); LearnShare HIV/AIDS Community of Practice; and a public health training program and materials designed by experts from the International AIDS Society (Switzerland) and experts in community radio. Also developed and planned 'pilot' capacity building for 99 women (33 NGOs in Africa) at Radio Mang'elete (Kenya). Partners: ECONEWS Africa, COL, Radio Mang’elete, UNESCO and the Kenya Community Media Network.
Community College Consortium for Open Education Resources, San Jose, California

A project of The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation at Foothill-DeAnza College, subsequently merged with MITs Open Courseware Foundation.

  • Facilitated stakeholder engagement and outreach and increased membership and participation in a consortium of 200+ community and technical colleges. Advised and supported Interim Governing Board, program manager and CCCOER contacts on ways and means of improving performance; recruited, mentored and trained OER ambassadors, faculty, admin and internal champions.
Commonwealth of Learning - Commonwealth Executive MBA / MPA Consortium and Program, Vancouver, Canada
  • Project management and coordination to maintain and grow the CEMBA / CEMPA Programs in 10 countries in Asia, Africa, the South Pacific and the Caribbean. Strengthened stakeholder accountability and partner recruitment process. Selected external consultant to recommend revisions to 22 core and supplementary courses. Coordinated learning workshop capacity-building to convert print-based courses into online learning formats.
Athena Sustainable Materials Institute, Forintek Canada, Vancouver, Canada
  • Evaluated market for environmental lifecycle assessment software and newly-launched institute. Co-managed 7 member team focusing on survey design, interviews and focus groups, analysis and reporting. Interviewed 100+ respondents in the architectural and building construction sectors in Canada and the US; analyzed data using SPSS, prepared recommendations for new pricing models and business case for $250K investment from the federal government of Canada. A member of our team was invited to sit on Athena's governing board.

Experience with facilitating review and evaluation processes that promote continuous learning for the organization

(Comment.gif: As a result of my experiences with facilitating user / member participation and contributions, and reviewing and evaluating processes in complex, self-organizing online environments, I developed a hybrid performance intervention called Performance Analysis & Action Learning (PAAL), for my graduate coursework in organization management and development, Fielding Graduate University.)

Commonwealth of Learning - Supporting Public Health, Community Media, Governance & Civil Society, E-Learning programs
  • Applied change management / performance analysis and action learning methodology to increase stakeholder participation, collaboration and communication with large stakeholders (COL, UNESCO), regional partners/NGOs, and local/grassroots, rural and urban community media / radio, in Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. Developed and revised curricula (based on faculty and student feedback); mentored and facilitated users in LearnShare HIV/AIDS Community of Practice for Public Health Professionals in Africa; Organization Development; and Designing Effective Learning Programs in Jamaica, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, and Ghana
  • Used and leveraged the networked tools and connections of Web 2.0 social learning technologies for continuous and iterative (peer-to-peer) learning; building trust with real-time mentoring support to implement workshop / meeting action plans; and a seamless experience between online and face-to-face interactions. Co-developed 3-Os - An Onsite, Ongoing and Online Action Learning Model
Health Canada First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, Ottawa, Canada
  • Facilitation support and report-writing for lessons-learned workshop for public health practitioners responding to H1N1 pandemic., Commonwealth of Learning, Vancouver, Canada & Open Education Resources Foundation, New Zealand
  • Used the Performance Analysis and Action Learning performance intervention to engage users / members to participate and contribute ideas, materials and resources; share interdisciplinary expertise; and increase their capacity within online communities and their organizations.
  • Conducted formative evaluations on community participation and on-the-job relevance, to increase community participation and member growth, and to identify, engage and mentor opinion leaders in key educational institutions; and for technical and community-participation training modules to respond to community and client requirements; enhance learner outcomes; and increase completion rates

Capacity to produce high-quality material in easy to read, easy to understand formats and in a timely manner

  1. Former business journalist - Globe and Mail, Financial Post, CBC Radio - never missed a deadline
  2. Completion of research and evaluation reports - Forintek Canada, Branham Group, in plain-language, etc.

Website Review & Community Engagement

One Change, CANADA, 2009

  • Challenge: To obtain stakeholders' input for a new organizational website and website RFP.
  • Process: Designed and facilitated consultations with 50+ internal stakeholders (Admin, IT/IS, Finance, Marketing, Business Development,Campaigns, Board of Directors) and external stakeholders for a redesigned corporate website for environmental and social change. The project focused on community engagement, use of social media/Web 2.0 interactivity.
  • Results: (1) Facilitated stakeholder engagement and 'buy-in' for project; (2) Improved inter-departmental communication; (3) Identified optimized workflows to increase productivity and reduce duplication.

Related Projects & Initiatives

  • Branham, NCNC, Multiactive (Rosebud), etc.

Other Case Studies

Distance Learning & Mental Health Services

Distance Treatment Service for Families, Nova Scotia Strongest Families is a program developed by the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, and now run by the Strongest Family Institute. This program helps parents and children in four Nova Scotia health districts, as well as in B.C., Alberta and Ontario, to learn to deal with the challenges of common childhood behaviour and anxiety problems.127 Families receive handbooks and skill-demonstration videos, and work through step-by-step modules at home, supported by telephone consultations with trained coaches. Research using randomized controlled trials found that Strongest Families was more effective than usual care services. The treatment drop-out rate was less than 10 per cent, and children in the Strongest Families program were significantly less likely to still have a diagnosable illness after eight and 12 months. In addition, positive treatment effects were sustained at one year follow-up, and parents reported high satisfaction with the quality of services. (Note 128)

{{Note|Note 128 - 128. McGrath, P. J., Lingley-Pottie, P., Thurston, C., MacLean, C., Cunningham, C., Waschbusch,D. A., . . . Chaplin, W. (2011). Telephone-based mental health interventions for child isruptive behavior or anxiety disorders: Randomized trials and overall analysis. Journal of the American Academy of Child & AdolescentPsychiatry, 50 (11), 1162–1172.


Canon E-Learning

Strategies for Sustainable and Open Distance Learning