User:Vtaylor/Facilitating online communities

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  • WIIFM - personal experience, student outcomes, activities, process
  • getting from "we and they" to "us" - working together as a community
  • objective - Learn some concepts and skills that can be used in an online environment so something important and interesting will happen when a bunch of folks get together there.

Mini conference 27 October - 9 November 2008

A mini conference for Facilitating Online, talk - post session outline

  • other sessions - multimembership
  • conference locations - SCoPE

Date: 27 October - 9 November 2008

Community Leadership Development

  • pilot the 12-week course as a 2-week workshop during the conference - what works? what is missing? what could be better? general suggestions
  • encourage discussion and feedback - need for a course like this, appropriate target audience, promotion for the project, adoption by communities, access issues
  • solicit recommendations for projects that could benefit from leadership provided by course participants
  • connect with colleagues, institutions and organization who are currently working in this area, or are interested in participating and/or partnering in the future
  • identify and review other resources that are applicable to the theory and practice of Community Leadership Development
  • raise awareness of the need for leadership development and demonstrate how global communities of practice using technology can provide the knowledge and support anywhere there is web access

Wk 11: Looking for online community: Social networking platforms - 20 - 26 October

... break 29 September - 12 October

Wk 9: Looking for online community: Wiki collaborators - 22 - 28 September

wk 9, group post Leigh Blackall - mini conference plan, blog, course events page with discussion, webconference 29 sep, reading

  • my post - I have always loved wikis, ever since I was little...
  • Mark Elliot on stigmergy, city planning, ants and such
  • Stanford - mixed results using wikis to build community

Wk 8: Open versus closed communities - 15 - 21 September

my thoughts - CCK08 comment on blog post / FOC08 open vs closed communities - comments, my replies ... Stephen "third option" and my RSS network visualization like HP/Xerox PARC zoomable cloud tool

  • Nancy on catching up initial into two lists - strategies for the workshop designer/instructor/facilitator and strategies for the learner/participant, but in a collaborative or community setting, some of these might be interchangable. So they are all in one and you can infer which are more design strategies for the facilitator and which are more ongoing learner coping strategies.

Looking for online community: Blog networks - 8 - 14 September

FOC08 and Global Voices - Blogging Networks 2008.9.11

Perfect timing, as I chatted with Linda Alepin of the Global Women's Leadership Network (GWLN) - an international network of women leaders working on issues of human rights, gender equality, sustainable development and global integrity. There is a great opportunity for them to build their online community. While this is something they might have done before, they are now ready to move forward. I'm here to help...

Mike says... It’s also highlighted several factors about blogging that I highly value and cherish. Blogs are very personal spaces, where the blogger makes and enforces the rules; they need not suffer any conduct they don’t approve of.

Looking for online community: Discussion forums

linking, lurking, learning, leading

  • community - purpose, communication, identity
  • facilitation - identity, timely responses and intervention, questions

  •, WikiEducator, Tech Soup, OLPC - around a service or product, ongoing development
  • CUE - Catalyst Using Educators - faculty at DeAnza College using Moodle
  • CIS 2 Computers and the Internet in Society - online course, limited to enrolled students

Learn more...

  • Discussion Groups: The catalyst for developing your community strategy ..via ...Member Experience, Community Strategy and Management, Technology ...CBB ideas - community member satisfaction survey, request suggestions for improvements, interview actual users to review use of tools and topics, member outreach with incentives or recognition, track use and changes, provide a blog with specific outbound messages on trends and community-related updates, personalize moderation / facilitation, encourage social networking as appropriate - map pins, avatars
  • private forums how do I know if I want to join? and You look guilty.
  • blog as Online Community Management Tool the community manager often needs a consistent and accessible place to have an independent voice to relate community news and information. a snapshot of the most interesting discussions, news and events. references to blog / wiki combination, Manila - blog / discussion
  • Nancy quotes... 'blogs are diaries that can be read by the public, while bulletin boards are town hall meetings in which the public can all discuss issues equally.'
  • HHS Pandemic Flu blog - weekly topics, formal contributors, public comment moderated according to pre-defined policy
  • blogs vs message board comments ...both message boards and blogs can be social, but to varying degrees, perhaps. Or just in different ways.
    ...the locus of control. Weblogs are individual or small group resources- the control of content and value is driven by a single person or small group. Message Boards are group resources- the control of content and value is shared equally across all users.
    ...I want interaction, so that tells me - message board. However, I don't want to force interaction, so that tells me blog. It seems a less pressuring way for people to participate. However, I don't want to end up just talking to myself...hmmm. My limited experience with message boards is that they are less organized and more all over the place than blogs. I like the more concise organization of the blog. I like that I can control the number and content of topics because, otherwise, it seems that there the topics become too "busy" to follow.

Facilitating, moderating, or teaching

  • Investigate the skills required to carry out the different roles and post these on your blog.

Finally, I figured it out. Apples and oranges... Stop using "teaching" in this context! My "teaching" includes techniques like facilitating and moderating, and many other things - presentation, assessment ...

There will always be a place for "teachers" regardless of the changes in learning and learners. We may change the name but there is a fundamental function or practice that is part of the process of learning. It's not dead, it's just resting...

  • learners need direction, reinforcement, feedback, stimulation, suggestions, connections. These are provided by people - individually or in groups or communities. We call them "teachers" and they are here to stay.
  • teaching - more than a role, skill or process, associated with learning, usually purposeful direction to objectives, learning outcomes, curriculum - process may include facilitating, moderating, presenting, and may include assessment, evaluation
  • new kind of "teacher" is needed as we expand the development and use of Open Educational Resources (OER). Learners need help finding and using appropriate OERs to get from where they are to where they want or need to be learning-wise. It's more than facilitating or moderating - it's still teaching.

  • facilitating - organization of resources, participants, purpose, facilities, tools for making the process possible, not necessarily controlling the process
  • moderating - more direct control over process to achieve some objective, orderly proceeding with discussion or debate, inclusion, summation
  • guide on the side (facilitator), moderator (more directly involved/participating, visible) vs. sage on the stage (presenter, subject matter expert, one:many)

My blog entries and comments to others

  • Community exists because the members share a common purpose which can only be accomplished jointly.

Learn more...

Suggested reading, FOC08 participants postings and links

  • and Bee summarizes it all nicely
  • Amy - World Cafe art of hosting training - Their concept of facilitation is largely based on self-awareness and cultivating a "way of being" that is conducive to mutual responsibility and interactive creativity. Online conversations with this group are fascinatingly fluid - full of participation & innovation - with no one "leading", but no one holding back either.
  • Dolors - Hootstein model ‘four pairs of shoes’ - acting as instructor, social director, program manager, and technical assistant”
  • Daryl - Task Activities: those activities that assist to achieve it purpose and goals, and Maintenance functions: those activities and behaviours which are needed to build a group and keep it going
  • MikeB makes some observations about communication within the FOC08 community - blogging with comments vs. discussion forum comments. my comment
Communities have unique properties because both of these characteristics must be present and encouraged within the community for it to thrive.
You sound so frustrated and discouraged. But there is lots of good stuff here. Facilitating a course where all the participants expect teaching and learning about facilitation is really challenging. It is hard to imagine a more difficult assignment! ..more
very thorough, academic writing
  • GROU.PS is a platform for social groups to get together, pick all the modules that you want (wiki, blogs, photos, links etc), it’s free!
nice tools. However, most of my communities already exist and have some technology connection - Moodle for faculty and staff using Moodle, WikiEducator uses the WikiEducator wiki. Next time, start with rather than Google groups.
Facilitation is also a pedagogical term that applies to student-centred approaches to teaching as opposed to teacher-driven - the teacher's role moving from expert to one of facilitation - "sage on the stage" to "guide on the side" (Kempe 2001).
this a great breakdown of the process. I have learned some of this the hard way - trial and error and error... It is like the Technology adoption lifecycle - there are no shortcuts or jumping over steps.
  • Curatorial Teaching CC By George Siemens 2007 with audio recorded presentation and discussion

What is an online community?

Community is...

ownership, commitment, participation, support, promotion, affirmation, affinity, identity
people, common ties, social interaction and place

Other FOC08 participants blogged and made many thoughtful and thought-provoking points. My thoughts follow...

  • Marcel - groups, communities, definitions, needs
  • Shelley Never underestimate the importance of your role in community building
  • Wenger A community of practice defines itself along three dimensions:
    What it is about – its joint enterprise as understood and continually renegotiated by its members
    How it functions - mutual engagement that bind members together into a social entity
    What capability it has produced – the shared repertoire of communal resources (routines, sensibilities, artifacts, vocabulary, styles, etc.) that members have developed over time.

The more personal side of communities ...

  • Thanks for working together so well over the course of the summer class. It's been a pleasure meeting everyone and discussing our assignments. I'm still amazed at how we can form friendships and bonded online without ever meeting in person. But I guess that's partly why we took this class, to learn how things like that work. ..YR, a student in CIS2 Summer 08
  • personal engagement / commitment, social interaction
  • Bron S - Hillery - people, common ties, social interaction and place
  • Violeta - associate the community with the emotional component, the support, the nuturing that they bring to their members

  • Minhaaj people who'd kill each other in real life and there were times when they'd verbally grounded each other, but i have never seen them holding knowledge back from each other.
Yes, isn't that amazing! Great observation.
  • Bron S how much is community development is linked to the roles and shared experiences we as facilitators/conveners offer?
IMHO - A lot. As I have been encouraging / requiring students to take on responsibilities and share experiences in my online courses, the students are becoming more active and connected. They use the term community. Can this be a "real" community in only 12 weeks (6 weeks in summer semester)?
  • Greg - all communities are networks, groups and teams, not all networks, groups and teams are communities. defining characteristics - responsibility, sharing, celebration
Networks, teams, groups - this still dances around what a community really is. What is it about a community that is special / unique? I agree that members of a community accept responsibility for the community, in a way they might not for one of the other forms. Is that a commitment to the purpose of the community? Sharing implies a personal contribution of something of importance to the member and the community. What does the community need that the member is sharing? Celebration implies personal attachment or affection to a community that has a soul or personality. How is that soul or personality communicated?
  • Shane Anonymity in online communities allows the uninterrupted (and not embarrassing) gathering of information without contribution.
Are by-standers - linkers and lurkers, contributing to the community? It is important to allow these folks to view so they can decide to participate, and to tell others about the existence and work of the community. But can someone be a full community member without contribution?
  • Bron H Can an online community thrive through commensurate (equal) facilitation and and symbiotic (feed off each other) relationships, or do you need one person or several people to take on leadership roles to make it work well? How important is the platform chosen for the online community?
I've been trying to imagine a community without leadership - nope, can't think of one example without several leadership and/or management roles.
The platform is critical, assuming the community has a purpose to accomplish. Having the right tools or framework enable members to work together. Discussions with just a wiki, or building a knowledgebase without one are doomed. It is just too hard to do good work without the appropriate environment in place.
  • Cathy D ownership comes from the participants, that leadership is necessary, and again collaboration, sharing, and history/culture are key ingredients to the successful care and feeding of the community.
Some would-be communities fail because the participants can't or won't take ownership. Facilitators hold on too tightly. There isn't enough value to participants to make the effort. Participants do not know that they need to take ownership or how to. Ownership by participants is critical.

Learn more...

  • The Art of Building Virtual Communities - lots of good suggestions and ideas in the section on healthy communities. ... voluntary, to be successful over time they need the ability to generate enough excitement, relevance, and value to attract and engage members.
  • Wenger responsibility of leadership to “build a fire” of activity that is strong enough to draw people to the community and encourage greater participation.
  • 12 Principles of Collaboration All communities, on or off the web, adhere to basic principles in order to thrive. .. Mongoose Technology - Purpose, supported by the other 11 principles - Identity, Reputation, Governance, Communications, Groups, Environment, Boundaries, Trust, Exchange, Expression and History
  • 5 stages - 1. Access & Motivation 2. Socialisation 3. Information Exchange 4. Knowledge Construction - knowledge development, discussion activities and group dynamics 5. Development - reflection and group learning ... in MirandaNet ref
  • "technoprofile" - the way people behave in social networking: creators, critics, collectors, joiners, spectators, inactives
  • 90-9-1 rule 90% lurk 9 contribute sometimes 1% regularly
  • Hamman, R. B. (2000). Computer networks linking network communities: A study of the effects of computer network use upon pre-existing communities [Electronic Version]. Retrieved 18/04/04