Facilitating Communities of Practice in the Network Era


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This is the set of slides used for the morning workshop on facilitating communities, along with two other sets of slides that might be useful later to participants, but which we did not conver/talk about. So be forewarned!

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  • In all the hype and hustle of emerging technologies, it is easy to lose sight of the bridge between those tools and the people who use them - educators and learners. http://www.flickr.com/photos/poagao/527259919/
  • How do we, as learners, business people, educators and designers decide when to focus on the individual, the group or the wider network? What are the strengths and weaknesses of each? How does our choice inform our selection of tools and methods? And what about all the gray area "in between" each of these?
  • It starts with “me” - each of us as individual actors and learners in the world. How do we learn or work? What motivates us? And when are we best served as independent actors?
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/swissrolli/2167756791/ Uploaded on January 5, 2008 by swissrolli
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/27126314@N03/2956992219/ The next stage along the continuum – and I stress that this is a continuum – is the “we” - bounded groups with an explicit shared purpose. As we move from me to we, the purpose may be emergent, fuzzy and we may just be creating the boundaries of the group.
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/gustavog/9708628/ Finally, at the other end of the continuum – which I now think of as a circle, by the way, instead of a linear continuum, is the network. This is the network that we can now visualize and participate in more than any other time in human history because of technology. This is the “new” part of the game when we think about learning, because network participation is no longer constrained as it was by time and distance for many of us. (Not for all of us... we'll come back to that)
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/gustavog/9708628/ Finally, at the other end of the continuum – which I now think of as a circle, by the way, instead of a linear continuum, is the network. This is the network that we can now visualize and participate in more than any other time in human history because of technology. This is the “new” part of the game when we think about learning, because network participation is no longer constrained as it was by time and distance for many of us. (Not for all of us... we'll come back to that)
  • So let's do a little comparing and contrasting of this circular continuum. You can be clear when we talk about the individual, me. We can be clear when we have bounded communities with clear establishment of in/out membership. We can also have communities with fuzzy boundaries, which may even be networks. If there was a subliminal sign flashing across this slide, it would be saying “IDENTITY.” identity shows up differently across this continuum and identity can be linked to purpose and boundaries. http://www.zengestrom.com/blog/2005/04/why_some_social.html (Social-material networks)
  • These different boundaries influence the power dynamics that occur between people. It influences processes of leadership and other roles. It defines levels of trust and privacy – which are not always closely linked as we move to the network level. http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/jill_bolte_taylor_s_powerful_stroke_of_insight.html http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/bonnie_bassler_on_how_bacteria_communicate.html
  • Finally, the tools we use can vary across the continuum. We'll talk a bit more about this later.
  • So in the past, I’ve done this exercise in pairs, in World Café and in the 1-2-4 build up. I’d not do 1-2-4 here and Café takes longer, so I suggest pairs or maybe rotating pairs then a debrief.
  • Not clearly demarcated, but there are new roles and practices we are all taking on. http://www.flickr.com/photos/dsevilla/189528500/in/set-1368427/ Uploaded on July 14, 2006 by dsevilla
  • These roles and practices create the conditions that enable people to….
  • Three roles that I’ve been looking at are community leaders, network weavers and technology stewards. Community leaders are a more familiar role, helping defined groups achieve specific goals over a period of time. “Helping” may mean creating conditions, supporting the emergence of relationships or individual and/or group identity, managing, etc. Network weavers are a new role (See the work of June Holley et al at http://www.networkweaving.com/blog/) – “people who facilitate new connections and increase the quality of those connections.” In between community leaders and network weavers are technology stewards – they show up both in groups/communities AND networks.
  • Nancy White Full Circle Associates Online facilitator Blogger Learner Chocoholic SEEKER Literal picture, figurative image IDENTITY
  • Grounding thought – what lies beneath is where it gets interesting! Tools and how we deploy them (learning environment design) have an impact on the learning experience The processes we use to work with and around the technology have an impact. Our perceptions of an online space (as opposed to what the participants may perceive) can be a blinder! How we present this to our participations needs to reflect where we want their ATTENTION and what we want to happen – INTENTION.
  • This is where we’d have the conversation about online compared to offline.
  • Am I bumblebee…
  • Or a tortoise and do I or others care?
  • Statue in Boston, info http://flakmag.com/misc/parkman.html Really. You can’t do this alone. So get used to it. REALLY. Huge design implications. Tools are designed for a group, experienced by an individual Large practice implications Open hand… Learning as a practice Gift economy Collaboration Networks
  • Teaching, learning and interacting online all reflect a continuum of processes, tools and experiences. In order to make it a bit easier to talk about, Michelle Moussou and I developed a model to talk about four main frameworks and 9 processes. Somewhat of an artificial construct – but it gives you something to “hang on to” to initiate discussions of how to facilitate online interaction. The inside is reflective of the content we are offering – how to facilitate online. But the frameworks on the outer ring may have broader applicability to learning environments and the inner processes can reflect the online learning experience. This is particularly true if you adopt a more facilitative vs. “teaching” approach. For example, if you want to use group projects as a learning tool, the issues of sociability, relationship and trust are worth exploring as groundwork to enable group work. Make sense? Here is a key idea to keep in mind: There is always a tension between control and emergence. Between what we intend as facilitators/teachers and what the participant brings to the table. Between individual and group. Between what works for one and what works OK for the larger group (learning styles, etc.). Between what we know and what we don’t know. Between the comfort of what we know, and the opportunity of what we don’t!
  • Convening conversations Use of questions Initiating new conversations Designing strategies that support local choice
  • http://www.stc-jamesriver.org/King%20STC%20Jan04.pdf Everyone needs cultural antennae The cost of not having them is high Professional and organizational cultures Broadly defined Beyond“Default” culture Biggest challenge? Sense Understand (not all, can never)
  • A huge survival skill is being ok with ambiguity. Of small, incremental changes for feeling secure, but knowing big leaps can happen and throw us off balance. There is an element of faith here, to move forward, even in uncertainty.  OK with “ not in control” not knowing
  • Value of networks: ODI working paper http://www.odi.org.uk/Rapid/Projects/PPA0103/Functions.html
  • The most important competency is self awareness -- online and offline. If we cannot stop and see ourselves, we cannot see others. Nor "hear" them! 
  • What happens when you look beyond the “established knowledge” for ways to better apply that knowledge? MRSA and Positive Deviance. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) - Hospital acquired infection, highly problemmatic, especially in US hospitals. http://www.positivedeviance.org/projects/MRSA/ http://www.plexusinstitute.org/complexity/index.cfm?id=3
  • Not clearly demarcated, but roles we are all taking on. http://www.flickr.com/photos/dsevilla/189528500/in/set-1368427/ Uploaded on July 14, 2006 by dsevilla
  • Border spanning…without the travel! Potential for greater diversity Multi-modal Time-flexible Can “accumulate” artifacts (knowledge?)
  • How do we tease out the issues, piled on top of each other?
  • "The great and glorious masterpiece of man is to know how to live to purpose." Montaigne
  • Purpose checklist
  • Get used to it Ask the Dwarfs!
  • Key Features of Collaboration From: Borden, L.M, and Perkins, Daniel F. Journal of Extension, April 1999, Vol 37 No 2. Accessed from http://www.joe.org/joe/1999april/tt1.html Communication Sustainability Research & Evaluation Political Climate Resources Catalysts Policies/Laws/Regulations History Connectedness Leadership Community Development Understanding Community
  • Facilitating Communities of Practice in the Network Era

    1. 1. Facilitating Communities of Practice in the Network Era Nancy White Full Circle Associates http://www. flickr .com/photos/ nicmcphee /33556189/in/set-72157594373420115/
    2. 2. Note to Slide Viewers: This set of slides contains both the slides we used at our May 17th, 2010 workshop, along with some other slides you may find useful. But we sure didn't talk about them! Nancy
    3. 3. Let’s build some “mud maps” (from Shawn Callahan – Anecdote.com) )
    4. 4. A Community of Practice Perspective
    5. 5. #1 People Forms (me, we, network)
    6. 6. http://www.flickr.com/photos/ecstaticist/2918198742/in/set-72157603453505459/ Go Solo?
    7. 7. Pairs, triads and very small groups – http://www.flickr.com/photos/swissrolli/2167756791/
    8. 8. Fly with the flock? Research teams.. . http://www.flickr.com/photos/swissrolli/2167756791/
    9. 9. South Africa's community nest spider http://www.south-african-game-reserves.com/arachnidpics/comnestspid.htm
    10. 10. Roam the network?
    11. 11. Networked Individualism Barry Wellman
    12. 12. Many: Networks We: Communities Me: the Individual Personal identity, interest & trajectory Bounded membership; group identity, shared interest, human centered Boundaryless; fuzzy, intersecting interests, object centered sociality (Engeström)
    13. 13. Many: Networks We: Communities Me: the Individual Consciousness, confidence level, risk tolerance, styles, emotion C Distinct power/trust dynamics, shared forward movement or strong blocking, stasis, attention to maintenance, language Flows around blocks, less cohesion, distributed power/trust, change
    14. 14. Many: Networks We: Communities Me: the Individual Blogs, email, research portfolios, RSS readers, the Brain… Forums, wikis, group blogs, content mgmt systems, LMS, platforms… Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Wikipedia,etc…
    15. 15. purpose exercise <ul><li>PURPOSE! What is the purpose of your community/group? </li></ul><ul><li>Community Checklist </li></ul>http://onlinefacilitation.wikispaces.com/Online+Community+Planning+Checklist
    16. 16. http://www.flickr.com/photos/dsevilla/189528500/in/set-1368427/ #2 Emerging roles and practices…
    17. 17. <ul><li>… being a leader means providing a space for other people to find the truth about themselves. The leader is the person who creates the space, or the opportunity, where some truth can shine forth and where the people who inhabit the space can find themselves at the deepest level. </li></ul><ul><li>Fred Kofman </li></ul>
    18. 18. Rule of Thumb: Make way for teenaged elephants!
    19. 19. enable people to… <ul><li>discover & appropriate useful technology </li></ul><ul><li>be in and use communities & networks (people) </li></ul><ul><li>express their identity </li></ul><ul><li>find and create content </li></ul><ul><li>usefully participate </li></ul>
    20. 20. <ul><li>facilitators </li></ul><ul><li>community leaders </li></ul><ul><li>technology stewards </li></ul><ul><li>network weavers </li></ul><ul><li>Independent thinkers </li></ul>
    21. 21. Thanks! Nancy White [email_address] http://www.fullcirc.com http://bit.ly/csp5uZ
    22. 22. Online Facilitation (STUFF we DID NOT USE but which you might find useful...)
    23. 23. Facilitating Online Interaction: What’s It All About, Anyway? Nancy White, Full Circle Associates cc 2007
    24. 25. 2. Online Communications Nancy White, Full Circle Associates, cc 2007
    25. 26. Nancy White, Full Circle Associates, cc 2007 Bumblebee time...
    26. 27. Nancy White, Full Circle Associates, cc 2007 tortise time...
    27. 28. http://www.flickr.com/photos/b-tal/179390341 / &quot;To receive everything, one must open one's hands and give” Taisen Deshimaru 3. Learning Together Nancy White, Full Circle Associates, cc 2007
    28. 29. 4. Facilitation <ul><li>Me: Identity/Reputation / Presence </li></ul><ul><li>Us: Relationship </li></ul><ul><li>Benefit: Process </li></ul>Nancy White, Full Circle Associates, cc 2007
    29. 30. From: http:// oubs .open.ac. uk /e-moderating/ fivestep . htm Gilly Salmon
    30. 31. Identity / Presence Relationship Process Benefit Nancy White, Full Circle Associates, cc 2007
    31. 32. Convening Conversations <ul><li>Invite </li></ul><ul><li>Focus </li></ul><ul><li>Questions </li></ul><ul><li>Control   emergence </li></ul><ul><li>Feed </li></ul>Nancy White, Full Circle Associates, cc 2007
    32. 33. 5. Intercultural Antennae …including professional culture Nancy White, Full Circle Associates, cc 2007
    33. 34. 6. Tolerance for A m Bigu i tY Move forward without certainty Nancy White, Full Circle Associates, cc 2007
    34. 35. 7. Bridge & Connect <ul><li>Multi-membership </li></ul><ul><li>Connectors </li></ul><ul><li>Networkers </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple perspectives </li></ul>Nancy White, Full Circle Associates, cc 2007
    35. 36. ODI: 6 Network Functi ons <ul><li>Filters </li></ul><ul><li>Amplifyers </li></ul><ul><li>Convenors </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitators </li></ul><ul><li>Investors </li></ul><ul><li>Community builders </li></ul>http://www.odi.org.uk/Rapid/Projects/PPA0103/Functions.html
    36. 37. 8. Technical Skills <ul><li>Know enough </li></ul><ul><li>Be curious </li></ul><ul><li>Experiment </li></ul><ul><li>Have friends </li></ul>Nancy White, Full Circle Associates, cc 2007
    37. 38. Finally…1. Self-Awareness Nancy White, Full Circle Associates, cc 2007
    38. 39. A Systems View of Community Facilitation (STUFF WE DID NOT USE)
    39. 40. 1. Work with the whole system
    40. 41. Source: Keith McCandless http://socialinvention.net
    41. 43. Who needs to be “in the room” to make this happen? Catalysts and connectors
    42. 44. From David Wilcox
    43. 45. 2. Identify and build on assets .
    44. 46. http://www.plexusinstitute.org/complexity/index.cfm?id=3
    45. 48. 3. Engage the system in the learning
    46. 49. We learn from each other. We learn when we “ do .”
    47. 50. Participation Practices <ul><li>Open Space ( http://www.openspaceworld.org ) </li></ul><ul><li>World Café ( http://www.theworldcafe.org ) </li></ul><ul><li>Positive Deviance </li></ul><ul><li>Storytelling </li></ul><ul><li>… and many, many more </li></ul>
    48. 51. Keep it simple <ul><ul><li>Keep technology simple , relevant, and local </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Build on what is there and being used </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Involve users in the design </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Strengthen capacity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Introduce greater monitoring & evaluation, especially participatory approaches . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Include communication strategies. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Research and share learning about what works, and what fails. </li></ul></ul>http://www.infodev.org/en/Publication.84.html
    49. 52. http://www.flickr.com/photos/dsevilla/189528500/in/set-1368427/ 4 . Find where we can do the most as leaders .
    50. 53. <ul><li>Do we…. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>let it happen? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>help it happen? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>make it happen? </li></ul></ul>
    51. 54. What are some “mud maps” we can think about today? What conditions might we create for these learning patterns and relationships?
    52. 55. Background Stuff on Communities of Practice WHICH WE DID NOT USE
    53. 56. A Communities of Practice Lens: What can it show us? Nancy White Full Circle Associates
    54. 57. A Community of Practice Perspective
    55. 58. Distributed CoPs: Benefits? Bullish? <ul><li>Potential for diversity </li></ul><ul><li>Border/boundary spanning </li></ul><ul><li>Multi-modal </li></ul><ul><li>Accumulate Artifacts </li></ul><ul><li>Complex </li></ul>
    56. 59. Challenges <ul><li>Diffuse attention </li></ul><ul><li>Diverse intention </li></ul><ul><li>Fuzzier identity </li></ul><ul><li>Invisible boundaries </li></ul><ul><li>Lurking </li></ul>
    57. 60. What is a CoP? Why care? <ul><li>“ CoPs develop around things that matter to people…. The difference between a CoP and a team is that the shared learning and interest of its members are what keeps it together. It is defined by knowledge rather than task. It exists because participation has value to members . </li></ul><ul><li>“ In their teams, they take care of projects. In their networks, they form relationships. In their CoPs they develop the knowledge that lets them do these other tasks </li></ul><ul><li>Etienne Wenger, 1998 </li></ul>
    58. 61. Some Comparisons As long as interest remains Informal network Friends and acquaintances Collect & pass on information Mutual needs, friends hip As long as reason to connect exists Etienne Wenger 2003 Who belongs Purpose Cohesiveness Duration Formal Org. Hierarchical reporting To deliver a product or service Organizational goals Until next reorganization Project Team Management assigned To accomplish a specific task Project goals Until project is complete Community of Practice Voluntary, invited or self - selected Build & exchange knowledge Passion, identity, commitment
    59. 62. CoPs and Social Networks <ul><li>Nurturing/preserving/ the social capital created by an educational or work experience </li></ul><ul><li>Embedding the results of training in new work practice </li></ul>P E R F ORMANCE Purpose S OCIAL F ORMATION PRACTICE
    60. 63. Is the distinction between a CoP, team or other form relevant to your situation? <ul><li>A = Yes </li></ul><ul><li>B = No </li></ul><ul><li>C = Lets talk about this more! </li></ul>
    61. 64. A Community of Practice Perspective: Domain
    62. 65. Domain: Shared Interest; Purpose <ul><li>What are we about? </li></ul><ul><li>What is our identity? </li></ul><ul><li>Significance? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Organization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>individual </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Scope? </li></ul><ul><li>Learning and doing </li></ul>
    63. 66. What is Purpose? <ul><li>“ A purpose is a social invention. It is constructed out of the intentions of the people in interaction with their environment. </li></ul><ul><li>Purpose is the meaning of the group's existence. </li></ul><ul><li>Purpose is the intended impact of the groups actions (or non-action) on the world.” </li></ul><ul><li>Jon C. Jenkins Imaginal Training, Groningen, The Netherlands </li></ul>
    64. 67. P ractical Purpose Points <ul><li>Is it clear? </li></ul><ul><li>Is it sharable? </li></ul><ul><li>Is it inviting? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Organization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>individual </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Is it reasonable? </li></ul><ul><li>Is it negotiable? </li></ul>
    65. 68. Does your community have a clear purpose? <ul><li>A = Absolutely </li></ul><ul><li>B = Maybe not </li></ul><ul><li>C = Nope! </li></ul>
    66. 69. A Community of Practice Perspective: Community
    67. 70. What is a community ? <ul><li>“ A set of people (or agents in a more abstract sense) with some shared element…a group of people or things that live in the same area. The substance of shared element varies widely, from a situation to interest to lives and values. The term is widely used to evoke sense of collectivity.” en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community </li></ul>
    68. 71. … in a CoP sense? <ul><li>Who is involved? </li></ul><ul><li>What roles? </li></ul><ul><li>What relationships? </li></ul><ul><li>How do they interact to solve problems & answer questions? </li></ul><ul><li>How is engagement and trust fostered? </li></ul>
    69. 72. <ul><li>Control <--> Emergence </li></ul><ul><li>Translucent design </li></ul><ul><li>Transparent facilitation </li></ul><ul><li>Surface values & agreements </li></ul>Keys to Community Interaction
    70. 73. Social Translucence <ul><li>“ Vital tension between privacy and visibility.” Erickson </li></ul><ul><li>The “door with the glass window” </li></ul><ul><li>Visibility </li></ul><ul><li>Awareness </li></ul><ul><li>Accountability </li></ul>
    71. 74. Translucent Systems <ul><li>Balance of public and private spaces </li></ul><ul><li>Balance of push/pull of information </li></ul><ul><li>Clarity on decision making authority & processes </li></ul><ul><li>Shared goals, but often individual work </li></ul>
    72. 75. Norms, Agreements & Accountability <ul><li>What is the minimum? </li></ul><ul><li>How explicit? </li></ul><ul><li>How to make visible? </li></ul><ul><li>How to keep them “alive?” </li></ul><ul><li>What shared values underpin? </li></ul>
    73. 76. <ul><li>Lave&Wenger, 1991 </li></ul><ul><li>“ In the workplace, learners can, when they need, steal their knowledge from the social periphery made up of other, more experienced workers and ongoing, socially shared practice.” (Brown&Duguid, 1992) </li></ul>Legitimate Peripheral Participation Picture courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/rollerboogie/
    74. 77. Leadership online? <ul><li>Servant leaders </li></ul><ul><li>Lead by action & example </li></ul><ul><li>More explicit than offline </li></ul><ul><li>Perhaps more process-focuses </li></ul><ul><li>Hold the space </li></ul><ul><li>Shared </li></ul><ul><li>Tolerant of ambiguity </li></ul>
    75. 78. A Community of Practice Perspective: Practice
    76. 79. Practice <ul><li>Domain-related practice </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What knowledge matters? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What activities Needed? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What tools? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Meta-practice of being a CoP </li></ul><ul><li>Meta-practice of a distributed CoP </li></ul>DOMAIN Practice “ Being in a CoP” Practice Distributed
    77. 80. The “place between the spaces” <ul><li>What practices enhance community formation &thriving? </li></ul><ul><li>How does practice show up online and offline? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the tolerance for risk & experimentation? </li></ul>
    78. 81. The Power of Conversation <ul><li>Yearn for “pub” or coffee shop </li></ul><ul><li>Social conversation (ad hoc, unstructured, no explicit focus) </li></ul><ul><li>Scientific discussion (topically organized, structured around data & hypothesis) </li></ul><ul><li>Blend of both </li></ul><ul><li>Time issues </li></ul>
    79. 82. Collaboration <ul><li>Whole greater than parts </li></ul><ul><li>Derived from purpose and outcomes </li></ul><ul><li>Principles determine behaviors </li></ul><ul><li>Based on honest assessments </li></ul><ul><li>Ownership and commitment </li></ul><ul><li>Inclusive </li></ul><ul><li>Martin Leith http://www.martinleith.com/lgi/chapter.html </li></ul>
    80. 83. Inquiry <ul><li>Define the problem </li></ul><ul><li>Develop and evaluation solution alternatives </li></ul><ul><li>Come to some resolution </li></ul><ul><li>Develop a plan of action </li></ul><ul><li>Reflect on the process </li></ul>