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Online Communities Educause






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    Online Communities Educause Online Communities Educause Presentation Transcript

    • Making Online Communities Work Kate Dibben Online Communications Officer kdibben@educationau.edu.au EdNA Online, education.au limited
    • About EdNA The EdNA Online gateway provides interfaces for all Australian education and training sectors. The aggregation of national services known as EdNA Online is the only education and training repository in Australia supported and funded nationally by all education and training sectors and systems. Alliances have been established with comparable international bodies for exchange of resources. These include the US Gateway to Educational Materials (GEM) and the MERLOT project.
    • Outcomes Outcomes •Understanding of the nature of online communities. •Understanding of how to find out about and join online communities in education and training. •Appreciation of issues related to creating, maintaining and stimulating an online community.
    • What are Online Communities? A group of people – usually, like minded people come together online to participate, debate and share information. Online communities will use a range of online tools from discussion forums, chat, discussion email lists, Information Management Systems (WebCT) etc. The website for an online community can serve several purposes: •Provision of information about the community and how to participate; •Hosting of the tools of communication and conferencing; and • Knowledge management for the community – providing ways to organise relevant information contributed by the community and history of the community.
    • TASK 1 Getting to know more about our community here today …
    • Communities of Practice Communities of practice are groups of people who share information, insight, experience, and tools about an area of common interest (Wenger, 1998). The three elements of Community of Practice include: Domain of knowledge – creates common ground and a sense of common knowledge in the community; Community – Interaction and relationships based on mutual respect and trust; and Practice – a set of frameworks, ideas, tools, information, styles, stories etc. the community members share.
    • Why Go Online? • Communicate remotely • Extend communication, networks with like mind groups • To learn and share • Provide support structure for mentoring • Provide records and archives • Online training or professional development • Access to expertise and • Flexibility
    • Building an Online Community Concept and Identifying Critical Factors? What are the critical features that make an online community successful and effective? Explore the 3 links below and look for things they do to effectively create an online community, then complete the sentence above. 4. http://www.preemie-l.org/ 5. http://www.edfac.unimelb.edu.au/reserve/online-ed/ 6. http://forum.edna.edu.au/wcit2002/ (to login use KDibben / dibben – this will give you admin access)
    • Critical Factors to the Success of Communities … Without critical factors, communities tend to flounder or fail. Here are some critical factors: 1. Focus on topics important to the community. 3. Find a well-respected community member to coordinate/facilitate the community. 4. Make sure people have time and encourage participation. 5. Get key thought leaders involved.
    • Critical Factors to the Success of Communities … 5. Build personal relationships among community members. 6. Develop an active passionate core group. 7. Create forums for thinking together as well as systems for sharing information. 8. Make it easy to contribute and access the community’s knowledge and practices. 9. Create real dialogue about cutting edge issues and information.
    • Tools Discussion Online Web Forums v Email Discussion Lists v Community Website What would you use? Why? Problem: I am thinking of starting a new community group which is made up of different members across Australia. The members have varying skills from beginner to advance. What would you suggest is the best tools to use for this community group? Why?
    • Online Community Member Skills What are the pieces a person needs to put together to empower him or herself to become a contributing member to an online community? Skills - certain skills any participant to an online community will need. These mostly involve the basics of using Email, some specifics about tapping into Discussion Lists, and maybe details about how to work with the community's Web site Culture - Every group of people that come together and form a community share certain values and interests. Logistics – eg. The school has only one email account and it is shared by many staff Action – Lurk or take action
    • Gilly Salmon’s – 5 Step Emoderator Model http://www.atimod.co m/e-moderating/
    • Things to Consider – Moderator/Facilitator There is no one size fits all situation approach for developing online communities. Some core principles apply and an online community developer/facilitator/moderator needs a range of skills and understanding of the available technologies, their pros and cons, as well as interpersonal skills. All users will need to register.   Need an Ice-breaker – initial postings – insights into the forum community and the opportunity to have users introduce themselves.  Different users have different abilities and understanding of the tools – need support and understanding of time commitments.  Stipulate a timeframe for the community .. Is it for a month, on-going.  Use different strategies/methodologies to encourage and stimulate conversation such as: Six thinking hats – what do you know, how do you feel, what is wrong with .., what are the benefits etc., questioning skills, games, debates, articles and websites.  Summarise the main points.
    • Scenario Take 5 minutes to think about the scenario you have been given. What approach / response would you give if you were the facilitator/moderator of this community? Any other comments …
    • Template for Developing an Online Community Name of Online Community? Purpose of the Online Community? How many participants? Target audience? How groups are formed and reformed? Community structure? E-lapsed time needed? E-moderators time? E-moderator actions? Participant time needed? Participant actions? Creating interaction? How Evaluated?
    • Email Games Since April 1999, Dr Sivasailam “Thiagi” Thiagarajan and Marie Jasinski have designed, facilitated and evaluated over 20 reusable email game templates. They have used these games with over 1,500 practitioners mostly within the vocational and corporate training sectors in Australia and the USA but also are very applicable for the higher education and schooling sector. Email games are easy to adopt and adapt. In an email game, a facilitator and a group of participants address a key issue by sending and receiving email messages during several rounds of play spread over days or weeks.
    • Stages of Running an Online Event Prior the event: •Designing the event – focus questions; activities; purpose; •Contacting potential guests and briefing them on the event and the context; •Preparation of guests - providing appropriate orientation and scaffolding for working in the online environment; •Development of a support website and customisation of communication tools if required – includes biographical information, information about the event, how to participate, background material, copyright, administration, links to discussion archives; and •Advertising and promotion through existing network and beyond as appropriate.
    • Stages of Running an Online Event During the event: •Facilitation including orientation messages, introduction of guests, regular posting of summaries synthesising threads of discussion and guiding direction if appropriate, providing support for guests and audience, archiving and closing the event. After the event: •Postproduction tasks – feedback survey, selected summary material and resources added to website and closure on communication devices as required.
    • Risk Management • set clear purpose and outcomes for the community • procedures to participate • time allocation to the online community • support for the community • professional development to encourage participation • promotion • student involvement – impact this can have/considerations • evaluation – successful or not – why? • policy statements – copyright, conduct, netiquette …
    • Policy/Copyright Communities need to include policy and copyright notification of the event so participants know what can and can not be distributed and how to conduct themselves within the community. This is also useful if the moderator needs to take action. For example inappropriate postings. This Policy below was developed for all EdNA Online collaborative tools – this was including for the World Congress on IT 2002 online event. http://www.edna.edu.au/aboutus/policy/collab_tools.html
    • Policy/Copyright Included in the policy: Overview EdNA Online Collaborative Tools Standards Content inclusion Policies Protocols for use of EdNA Online Collaborative Tools Safety on the Internet Grievances Data Collection and Usage Conditions of Use
    • Some Observations Most people initially join online communities believing that they will receive some benefit. For an online community to generate useful content and an ongoing sense of community the proactive participation of a critical mass of members is required. Many people like to lurk for a while before participating though there are many exceptions to this. Some people contribute anonymously by personal response rather than public response.
    • Further Observations Being an effective contributing member of an online community usually means having a combination of skills, an understanding of the culture of the community, solving logistical problems so that regular access is convenient, and ultimately an attitude of wanting to participate and contribute. An effective online community will nurture newcomers with patience and tolerance and make it comfortable for all to contribute at their own level. At the same time it is important for participants to realise that learning occurs on the edge of our comfort zone.
    • Conclusion It is self evident that running online events or managing an online Communities is a non-trivial task requiring time and expertise. An online community needs adequate human resourcing whether on a voluntary or paid basis in order to make use of the opportunities afforded by such events. An emerging issue is the increasing number of online opportunities competing for educators’ time. Developing an effective online community of interest takes considerable time, energy and resources. The bottom line is: Communication and Information: a powerful combination Thus communication is the heart of online communities.
    • Online Community Models • SAPP http://www.teachers.ash.org.au/kasmith/ • World Congress http://forum.edna.edu.au/wcit2002/ • LearnScope Virtual Learning Community (VLC) http://www.learnscope.anta.gov.au/LearnScope/home.asp • The University of Melbourne, Education Faculty http://www.edfac.unimelb.edu.au/reserve/online-ed/
    • Having a go … You can access the EdNA Online educause online forum at: http://forum.edna.edu.au/event.asp?Id=18410
    • Online Communities of Interest Stephen Downes http://www.downes.ca/ Australian Electronic Mailing Lists for Teachers http://rite.ed.qut.edu.au/oz-teachernet/profassoc/lists.html Joining Australian education and training discussion lists or create and manage your own. http://www.edna.edu.au/messaging/index.html Higher Education Discussion Lists http://www.edna.edu.au/go/browse/highered:ozhe:forums#resulttab Discussion Lists for School Leaders http://www.edna.edu.au/go/browse/schooled:leadership:elistlead#resulttab Discussion Lists for Teachers http://www.edna.edu.au/go/browse/schooled:leadership:eliststchr#resulttab Adult and Community Education http://www.edna.edu.au/go/browse/ace:newsnet:aceforum#resulttab Cultural Mailing Lists http://www.cultureandrecreation.gov.au/lists/ National Library http://www.nla.gov.au/libraries/resource/lists.html
    • Thank you Kate Dibben Online Communications Officer kdibben@educationau.edu.au EdNA Online, education.au limited