User:Vtaylor/Community Leadership Development

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Dominique Parrish and Geraldine Lefoe, CEDIR, University of Wollongong

Stephen Downes writes in OLDaily - A project that suits my inclinations. "Distributive leadership" can be defined as "the distribution of power through a collegial sharing of knowledge, of practice, and reflection." In that context, this report finds "Distributive leadership is most successful if the leadership roles and responsibilities are negotiated rather than delegated; distributive leadership harnesses individual strengths and abilities appropriate for the required leadership, irrespective of formal position; and a distributive approach provides [individuals] an opportunity to take a leadership role, ascertain capability, and further develop these aptitudes before acquiring a formal position."

course outline

key words: community engagement, social entrepreneurship, community building

This community leadership development program was envisioned as a very broad offering. I was always impressed by the youth leadership training programs for Boy Scouts. High schools and colleges are encouraging (even requiring) active learning and leadership in the community. Generation Ageless (aka Baby Boomers) are looking to add meaning to their free time through community leadership. Some of our original thinking was a follow-on to face-to-face workshops for women from all over the world. Focusing on community service supports a wide range of projects and leadership opportunities. Anyone and everyone can benefit.

As an organizer I start from where the world is, as it is, not as I would like it to be
.. Saul Alinsky (quoted)
Organizations are capable of intelligent, purposeful collective action, actions taken to influence their environments in desired directions. We know that, like all living organisms, our organizations can learn, adapt and grow. We know that they too have life cycles of birth, growth, maturity and eventual decline.
.. Adaptive Leadership - Charles Albano

Communities with shared interests and ideals may include, but are not limited to, groups of like-minded individuals, not-for-profit organizations, non-government agencies, educational and academic institutions, with access to online communications, without regard to physical proximity.

Community Leadership Development - online, open education and skills development for individuals and groups working with community-based organizations to provide leadership training, needs assessment and planning, coordination, management and evaluation of projects to benefit the community.

The program covers leadership development, group dynamics, conflict management, problem solving, communication, managing change, and community and economic development.

Participants are encouraged to continue to communicate and collaborate with the facilitators and other cohorts of Community Leadership Development participants.

Community Education Model

With an increasingly broad range of open educational resources (OERs) and courses available, facilitating adult education as a community service is not only possible, but is also an extremely important opportunity for those interested in taking a leadership role. This course not only provides community service leadership training but also models online education facilitation that can be adapted for many other subjects and skills.


  • achieve community identified goals
  • develop co-operative and collaborative attitudes and practices
Audience Visionaries, community leaders, individuals and groups looking to make a difference through social action and community service
Readability Secondary - may included some popular commercial ad-supported web resources - text, audio, video
Technologies web access to web sites, wiki, discussion forums, blogs, email, groups, RSS reader
Participation flexible - active, facilitated self-directed learning, scheduled progress, complete learning activities, participate in discussions, collaboration, directed work with community, journal personal reflections, follow along, consider as reference, reuse, rework, remix, redistribute, friend-raising, community of interest
Learning outcomes introduction to community services, leadership, project planning, social action project development, online adult education

Course models

Learning Outcomes

  • develop personal leadership skills
  • formulate an action plan to take a leadership role in a community service project
  • use freely-available technologies to support the development and growth of collaboration within the community and outreach efforts to raise awareness, recruit participants, engage partners and solicit donations

Community Leadership Development combines critical basic education in the areas of community service and leadership with open educational resources and a global community connected via the internet to provide opportunities for large numbers of learners in an environment that is reproduce-able, scalable and sustainable.

The Community Leadership Development project provides an innovative application of participatory learning for the community of learners preparing to provide important community service and lead organizations where ever they are.


A lesson I learned from a mentor a long time ago is that as a facilitator, an organizer, our prime role is nothing more than to create a reasons for people to come together. Once they are there, great things can happen. By CogDogBlog with photo sampled from Farhang. CC By
Community Leadership Development - introduction to leadership, connection with communities of need via the internet, providing support and direction

Offering the Community Leadership Development course as an open course on the web provides a unique opportunity to learn about community service, leadership and thinking globally. The organizations and communities where students are developing their leadership skills can be anywhere - on a college campus, in neighborhood county, remote regions of the developing world or any place in between.

Unlike Open Educational Resources (OER) which are static, Community Leadership Development is taught (or more accurately - facilitated) with a schedule, regular mediated discussions, active participation, collaborative learning and collegial interaction. Participants are encouraged to work with their community of interest for research and experience.

Leadership in community service learning and civic engagement are emphasized. Community Service Learning links academic study to community service through structured reflection so that each reinforces the other. The community service may address a variety of community needs, community outreach and education, research or policy analysis.

Students engage in community service learning activities or projects with external community organizations responsive to the needs of the community of interest. Academic topics - leadership, community building and collaboration, directly address the projects or services activities of the students. Student reflections document and strengthen leadership skills development, the dynamics of the course content concepts and the community based activity. Topics addressed in the Global Leadership Development course provide the opportunity for participants to bring their experience to the course for discussion and collaborative learning within the course cohort.

Much of community leadership focuses on education of community members. The course itself serves as a model for community education. By incorporating a variety of Open Educational Resources (OERs) - text, images, audio, video, it demonstrates a basic framework for bringing information and skills to a community. The establishment of community of experienced community leaders and those just developing their service leadership skills provides a group dynamic that benefits all.

"Education is free. There is a fee to get credit." An academic partner may use the tuition from registered students to ensure that course materials will be updated as appropriate and the course is sustainable, and will continue to be offered. Scholarships for students, aspiring local community leaders and international community representatives will ensure that the enrollment minimum is reached, to cover teaching and administrative costs for the course.

..Participatory Learning


Core competencies

  • community leadership development - personal goals, vision, community of interest, project, objectives
    • reading, research, guided self-discovery activities, skills development assignments, discussion, collaboration, group projects, reflection
  • practical leadership
    • Goals, Reality, Options, What
    • plan, act, observe, reflect
    • visioning
  • developing connections to community partners
    • Access & Motivation - exploring the technology and access to it. Winning trust, motivating participants
    • Socialization - social processes and ‘community building’
    • Information Exchange - exchanging information and performing tasks, interaction with the course content and with other participants and the facilitator
    • Knowledge Construction - knowledge development, discussion activities and group dynamics
    • Development - reflection and group learning
  • global communities - use a variety of technologies for communication, outreach, reflection and self discovery including blog, RSS feed, enrolled students discussion withing the course management system, portfolio of documents to promote and support organization of interest

Phase 2

  • mobile learning - investigate practicality of offering the course and/or the course materials for access via mobile technology - more handsets everywhere, bypasses many of the limitations of personal computers and network infrastructure (cost, maintenance, connections, literacy), but presents other challenges for participation


  • community service learning - ePortfoilo that includes entries for proposal, regular project status and reflection journal entries, analysis and summary

How it works...

  • self-paced - read through the information, do any of the activities that will help you progress toward your personal goals
  • facilitated - guided by the facilitator for scheduling, recommended activities, feedback and summarization
  • for each topic activities are grouped
    • explore - suggestions to see examples related to the topic, specific readings and references, research
    • apply - opportunity to focus on individual applicability
    • reflect - reflection and sharing via blog postings
    • learn more... - additional resources, alternatives

The framework is stationary but the community is dynamic. Everyone is invited to participate - formally as a participant in a facilitated cohort, or informally, as a linker, a lurker, a learner or as a leader.

Getting started

We are using several free and open technologies for communication, collaboration and learning. These activities guide you through getting them set up, and taking the first steps to using these technologies.

Technology set-up

  • create a blog
  • add the RSS feed address for your blog to the CLD08 cohort RSS feeds list
  • subscribe to the RSS feeds of other participants,


  • post an introductory entry to your blog titled CLD08 Introductions.
    What is your experience with community leadership? What special interests and knowledge can you share with us that will help others in community leadership?
  • read the introductions of other participants and comment on several. Are you working on similar problems? Is there an opportunity to work collaboratively? Are there differences that will help you expand your thinking?

Learn more...

  • create a blog
  • RSS feeds

Self Discovery, Vision and Goals

You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand.
..Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924), 28th U.S. President quote

What is your personal leadership style? What are your personal goals? Through leadership analysis and self evaluation, examine your personal goals. Expand your thinking about community leadership. Begin working on your personal leadership development.

EXPLORE - Watch the videos and review the articles, looking for ideas and suggestions for community leadership and how you can define your leadership role.

  • Dave Eggers talks about his work on organizing volunteers for tutoring centers for students. He says that a student that gets 40 hours a year of tutoring will achieve 1 grade higher in performance. Also that by engaging students and telling them "you don't know how good you are" can give them confidence to achieve.
  • Bono: Musician, activist, the lead singer of U2, uses his celebrity to fight for social justice worldwide: to end hunger, poverty and disease, especially in Africa. His nonprofit DATA raises awareness via media, policy and calls to action.


  • 12 Principles All communities, on or off the web, adhere to basic principles in order to thrive - Purpose, supported by the other 11 principles - Identity, Reputation, Governance, Communications, Groups, Environment, Boundaries, Trust, Exchange, Expression and History

Leadership style

  • Leadership Legacy assessment test - 30 multiple choice questions will take only a few minutes to complete - Ambassador, Advocate, People Mover, Truth-Seeker, Creative builder, Experienced guide
  • [ GAPS]

Vision, values

APPLY - Determine some insight into your personal leadership style. Look at actual communities and their leadership.

  • Take the leadership style quizzes. What do you think? Do these give you a sense of your leadership style?
  • Look at some online communities and observe differences and similarities. Find examples of community leadership in your field of interest. Using the 12 characteristics for reference, compare the three communities and post your thought to your blog
  • complete your GAPS analysis
    • Goals - What do you want?
    • Abilities - What strengths do you have now? What needs development?
    • Perceptions - How do others see you?
    • Standards - What do you expect? What is expected of you?

REFLECT - Outline your personal objectives for community leadership, your contributions, desired outcomes, vision and post your reflections to your blog. Include your personal values, and how these apply to your community service leadership.

Learn more...

  • community leadership stories
  • how individuals with vision make a difference
  • constructing vision statements

Reality and Options

Now you have a goal in mind, it is time to look at what is really going on in your community. Are the needs what "everyone" assumes they are? Is there an underlying problem that needs to be addressed? What options are there for addressing the needs? Winning trust, and motivating participants are key leadership skills in this effort.

EXPLORE - Look for social processes and ‘community building’, shared areas of interest. In particular identify community profiles - current status, needs, opportunities, needs analysis, and change dynamics.

  • look through the profiles of the participants in Women Leaders of the World 2008 .pdf). Are there projects that are interesting to you? How are the project ideas and activities described?
  • Dean's L.E.A.D.E.R.S. Listen to learn, Empathize with emotions, Attend to aspirations, Diagnose and detail, Engage for good ends, Respond with respectfulness, Speak with specificity .. also skills Receiving feedback, Assessing and analyzing, Giving feedback
  • Adaptive Leadership - flexibility, value add, cooperation, responsiveness and "can do" emphasis

APPLY - Has someone done this or something similar before? How did they accomplish their goals?

  • Research model projects, specifically looking at accomplishments. What was the project process that was followed?

REFLECT - What does the community actually need? What options are available?

  • Think about the readings and post your comments. What could be adapted for you and your community of interest? What new information and insight has this provided? What information is still needed? Are there options that seem workable?

Learn more...

  • scenario planning

Action, Communication and Group Dynamics

Communication and group dynamics
Getting things done depends on exchanging information and performing tasks. Interacting with the other participants is key to knowledge development, discussing and completing activities and group dynamics.

EXPLORE - There are many ways to lead for success including some examples here. Do these work for you? Are there suggestion that you can adopt into your own learning skills?

  • [ Marquardt's Questioning culture]
  • [Drucker] think first, speak last ..remembering ..Five Drucker questions What is our mission? Who is our customer? What does the customer value? What have been our results? What is our plan? [What Business Can Learn from Nonprofits]
  • project planning and implementation
  • group dynamics
  • community recruiting, team building, collaboration

APPLY - Now it is your turn to put together a blueprint for how to proceed. Who needs to participate? How will the work be divided up? How does the group communication on progress and problems? How will problems be resolved?

  • Draft proposal and plan based on your research, and share it with your community. Compare notes, highlight similarities and differences, and make recommendations?
  • Create a work breakdown, identifying necessary resources and skills. Does everyone have something to contribute? Does everyone understand what their responsibilities are?

REFLECT - How are your doing? On plan? On schedule? On budget? Ongoing progress tracking and evaluation are essential to keep moving toward your goals.

  • Adopt a standard outline for status reporting, and change management [ SOAP]
  • Take time to identify successes, and the "could be better" (CBBs)

Learn more...

Observe and Reflect

In addition to project management, leadership includes assessing and evauluating the "big picture" as it related to the original goals and vision. Get constructive feedback. Look for ideas that are applicable,

EXPLORE - What are some suggestions for giving and getting feedback? How does reflection contribute to group learning and community improvements?

  • assessment, critique
  • giving and receiving feedback, constructive criticism
  • objective measures - rubrics and evaluation criteria

APPLY - Real progress is usually the result of a feedback loop - regularly do some work, assess the results, suggest improvements, revise the planned actions, and repeat.

  • iteration, problem resolution, negotiation
  • Revise plan, refine goals, update schedule
  • Share beyond the team and course participants

REFLECT - Take this opportunity to look at the whole situation. Are your original goals still appropriate, or have they been modified or refined over time? How have you changed? What is the current state of your personal leadership development?

  • summarize, reflection on personal development, group work and community of interest,
  • evaluate leadership development progress against GAPS analysis
  • Celebrate - Be sure to celebrate progress and accomplishments large and small throughout program. Great leaders recognize the value and contribution of all.

Learn more...

Ongoing community of service leadership

Participants are encouraged to report to the community on successes, experiences and unforeseen situations for review and feedback from the community.

Learn more...

Community service

  • The Community Tool Box 46 Chapters through which you can reach nearly 300 different sections providing practical, step-by-step guidance in community-building skills. more resources
  • Community organization - one of a great collection of articles on social issued, community and adult education


  • artistic learning as it applied to leadership

Profiles and projects

Students in the community

  • [ Dr. Bob Franco] - presenter
  • Alpha Phi Omega APO a national, co-ed service fraternity that has set the standard for college campus-based volunteerism since 1925. We have active chapters on over 350 campuses, and we strive to help each individual member develop leadership skills, experience friendship on many levels and provide service to others.

Web 2.0 tools

  • Resource kit for creative Community engagement In this resource kit, community organisations can find helpful online guidance, ideas and tools for developing and facilitating e-learning in communities and regions. The kit includes suggestions and options on the why and how of e-learning. You'll find guidance on low cost tools and technologies, as well as ideas and stories to help you get started.

Extended topics

  • Leadership
  • Individual Learning and Group Dynamics
  • Visioning
  • Communications
  • Community Cohesion
  • Governance
  • Meeting Skills
  • Innovation
  • Project Development
  • Local Leadership Opportunities

  • scenario planning, online community leadership
  • adult education as a community service

Community Leadership Development Mini conference - October 2008

Welcome to the Community Leadership Development mini-conference.

  • Please add your name to the Visitors list below.
  • Look through the course information. This is a work in progress.
    • Does this cover a broad spectrum of community leadership topics?
    • What are the important issues to address for guiding aspiring community leaders?
    • Are there omissions?
    • Are there great resources on the subject that we should include?
    • Can you direct us to stories of inspirational community leadership role models?
    • Are there other open educational resources addressing community leadership?
    • Is there a need for online community leadership training?
  • Please add your comments and suggestions. Feedback is greatly appreciated.
  • Thanks for stopping by


Visitors - please add your name to the list

Comments, feedback, suggestions

Your comments and suggestions are greatly appreciated ..vt

  • Facilitate a two week pilot course on the need for leadership development for educators on Moodle to learn from others. Conduct a needs assessment survey for participants. Raise issues, thoughts on the topic via forum discussions on the Moodle. -- Nellie Deusch