0
VirtualVirtual
Communities ofCommunities of
Practice: EnablingPractice: Enabling
PeerPeer--basedbased
Distance LearningDis...
Presentation ObjectivesPresentation Objectives
To get educational practionners:
to recognize the advantages of supporting ...
Presentation OutlinePresentation Outline
Distance learning with a virtual community of
practice
Virtual communities initia...
DistanceDistance
Learning with aLearning with a
VirtualVirtual
Community ofCommunity of
PracticePractice
Recognizing the
a...
Defining a Community of PracticeDefining a Community of Practice
Communities of practice
are “groups of people
who share a...
More then a Community of LearnersMore then a Community of Learners
“More than a ‘community
of learners’, a community
of pr...
Distinctive TraitsDistinctive Traits
Purpose Members Boundaries Incentive Duration
Community of
practice
Create, expand &
...
Defining a Virtual Community of PracticeDefining a Virtual Community of Practice
Environments in which individuals with si...
Challenges of Virtual CommunitiesChallenges of Virtual Communities
Connecting across borders and time zones
Requiring loca...
VirtualVirtual
CommunitiesCommunities
Initiated byInitiated by
JMSBJMSB
Networking the
International Aviation
Industry
John Molson School of Business (JMSB)John Molson School of Business (JMSB)
Is the business faculty of Concordia University...
JMSB Distance Education ModelJMSB Distance Education Model
Objective
Enabling industry professionals and managers to
remai...
VCoPVCoP: Context of Application: Context of Application
Graduate level classes
Professional training programs
Alumni comm...
VCoPVCoP: Method of Application: Method of Application
Professors act as facilitators for students’
learning:
Enabling the...
VCoPVCoP: Considerations for Application: Considerations for Application
Virtual communities of practice as part of an
ins...
Managing Learning and a CareerManaging Learning and a Career
“What I like about the
International Aviation MBA
Program is ...
Global Aviation MBA ProgramGlobal Aviation MBA Program
Format adopted: 4
semesters (2 years)
Initial offering: October
200...
GAMBA StudentsGAMBA Students -- Countries of OriginCountries of Origin
CanadaCanada
TrinidadTrinidad
EcuadorEcuador
USAUSA...
Recent Distance Education ProjectsRecent Distance Education Projects
Development of Airport
Executive Leadership
Program i...
Professional Link to Aviation IndustryProfessional Link to Aviation Industry
A competitive advantage
in a growing industry...
Needs AnalysisNeeds Analysis
For a VirtualFor a Virtual
Community ofCommunity of
PracticePractice
Preparing a list of
cons...
Is aIs a VCoPVCoP the Correct Strategy?the Correct Strategy?
Considerations Fit with VCoP
Learners work in industry and/or...
Attributes of AAttributes of A VCoPVCoP
Size
Life span
Physical boundaries, such as:
Collocated or distributed
Homogenous ...
Structural Elements of aStructural Elements of a VCoPVCoP
Domain, which:
Legitimizes the community
Defines boundaries
Comm...
VirtualVirtual
Community ofCommunity of
Practice DesignPractice Design
Outlining a list of
requirements
Stages of Community DevelopmentStages of Community Development
The jagged line represents the level of energy and visibili...
PotentialPotential
At this stage:
Informal network of
learners with differing
experiences but with
similar issues and need...
CoalescingCoalescing
At this stage:
Learners start to find value
in engaging in learning
activities and design a
community...
Metaphor for DesignMetaphor for Design
Wenger, McDermott and
Snyder offer an analogy
of growing a plant, which
is a useful...
Designing with Goals in MindDesigning with Goals in Mind
Explicit design principles:
shows the relationships
between eleme...
Steps for Designing aSteps for Designing a VCoPVCoP
1. Design for evolution
2. Open a dialogue between inside and outside
...
Design for EvolutionDesign for Evolution
Design Requirements
Steering rather the (re)creating
Should be catalysts for a
co...
Open a Dialogue for Multiple PerspectivesOpen a Dialogue for Multiple Perspectives
Characteristics
Insider appreciate:
The...
Invite Different Levels of ParticipationInvite Different Levels of Participation
Characteristics
It is unrealistic encoura...
Develop Public and Private SpacesDevelop Public and Private Spaces
Characteristics
Rich with connections that
happen both ...
Focus on ValueFocus on Value
Characteristics
Value is key to community life
Full value is often not apparent
at first
Sour...
Combine Familiarity and ExcitementCombine Familiarity and Excitement
Characteristics
Successful communities
offer:
Familia...
Create a Rhythm for the CommunityCreate a Rhythm for the Community
Characteristics
The rhythm is the strongest
indicator o...
Considerations forConsiderations for VCoPsVCoPs
Because VCoPs most often serve distributed
communities, additional efforts...
VCoPVCoP Local/Global StructureLocal/Global Structure
Regional
group
Small local
group
Small local
group
Local
coordinator...
Drafting aDrafting a
VirtualVirtual
Community ofCommunity of
PracticePractice
BlueprintBlueprint
An Exercise
Thank youThank you
Question & comments
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Virtual Communities of Practice: Enabling Peer-based Distance Learning

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I presented on the subject of Virtual Communities of Practice: Enabling Peer-based Distance Learning at the Canadian Association for Distance Education (CADE) conference in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Presen tation Summary

Virtual communities of practice are environments in which individuals with similar interests can learn from one another at a distance. Learners in this case are not limited to their local peers but are able to interact and learn from those who have similar experiences elsewhere. This type of virtual community requires design and planning in order to ensure that communication flows between its participants.

We nger, McDermott and Snyder (2002) define a community of practice as "groups of people who share a concern, a set of problems or a passion about a topic, and who deepen their knowledge and expertise in this area by interacting on an ongoing basis".

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Transcript of "Virtual Communities of Practice: Enabling Peer-based Distance Learning"

  1. 1. VirtualVirtual Communities ofCommunities of Practice: EnablingPractice: Enabling PeerPeer--basedbased Distance LearningDistance Learning Kristina Schneider Centre for Instructional Technology John Molson School of Business Concordia University CADE/ACÉD May 2005
  2. 2. Presentation ObjectivesPresentation Objectives To get educational practionners: to recognize the advantages of supporting peer- based learning activities through distance learning with a virtual community of practice to prepare a list of considerations when doing a needs analysis for a virtual community of practice to outline a list of requirements when designing, developing, implementing and evaluating a virtual community of practice
  3. 3. Presentation OutlinePresentation Outline Distance learning with a virtual community of practice Virtual communities initiated by JMSB Needs analysis for a virtual community of practice Virtual community of practice design Drafting a virtual community of practice blueprint
  4. 4. DistanceDistance Learning with aLearning with a VirtualVirtual Community ofCommunity of PracticePractice Recognizing the advantages of supporting peer-based learning activities
  5. 5. Defining a Community of PracticeDefining a Community of Practice Communities of practice are “groups of people who share a concern, a set of problems or a passion about a topic, and who deepen their knowledge and expertise in this area by interacting on an ongoing basis”. Source: Wenger, McDermott and Snyder (2002), “Cultivating Communities of Practice”
  6. 6. More then a Community of LearnersMore then a Community of Learners “More than a ‘community of learners’, a community of practice is also a ‘community that learns’. Not merely peers exchanging ideas around the water cooler, sharing and benefiting from each other's expertise, but colleagues committed to jointly develop better practices.” Source: George Pór, Community Intelligence Labs
  7. 7. Distinctive TraitsDistinctive Traits Purpose Members Boundaries Incentive Duration Community of practice Create, expand & exchange knowledge Develop individual capabilities Self-selected based on expertise or passion Fuzzy Passion for the domain Identification with group & expertise Evolve & end organically Formal departments Deliver a product or service Those who report to the manager Clear Job requirement & common goals Intended to be permanent Operational Teams Ongoing process Those assigned by management Clear Shared responsibility Indented to be ongoing Project Teams Task oriented Those who have a direct role Clear Project goals & milestones Predetermine d ending Communities of Interest Inform Those interested Fuzzy Access to information Evolve & end organically Informal Networks Distribute information Friends & business acquaintances Undefined Mutual need & relationships Need based Source: Wenger, McDermott and Snyder (2002), “Cultivating Communities of Practice”
  8. 8. Defining a Virtual Community of PracticeDefining a Virtual Community of Practice Environments in which individuals with similar interests interact with one another at a distance. Most often used with global or distributed communities of practice Main advantages: Not limited to their local peers/expertise Has the potential to be more inclusive Gain a global perspective Gain a cross departmental/organisational perspective
  9. 9. Challenges of Virtual CommunitiesChallenges of Virtual Communities Connecting across borders and time zones Requiring local chapters because of potentially larger membership Managing the goals and priorities which are likely to differ significantly Overcoming the obstacles with knowledge sharing and intellectual property Recognizing that cultural differences can lead to communication difficulties Employing the proper technology to support such a community
  10. 10. VirtualVirtual CommunitiesCommunities Initiated byInitiated by JMSBJMSB Networking the International Aviation Industry
  11. 11. John Molson School of Business (JMSB)John Molson School of Business (JMSB) Is the business faculty of Concordia University Is the largest English speaking business school in Canada Has an enrolment of 6,000 students Has a strong disciplinary research Has a strong links to industry Has dedicated educational technologists that design & development of distance education environments
  12. 12. JMSB Distance Education ModelJMSB Distance Education Model Objective Enabling industry professionals and managers to remain on the job while earning their degree or professional training Solution Researching distance education literature and models Taking advantage of state-of-the-art communications and educational technology Establishing communities of practice to permit industry professionals to make meaningful links between theory and practice.
  13. 13. VCoPVCoP: Context of Application: Context of Application Graduate level classes Professional training programs Alumni communities Regardless of level of experience, most learners have gathered a certain amount of knowledge about their field of study and practice.
  14. 14. VCoPVCoP: Method of Application: Method of Application Professors act as facilitators for students’ learning: Enabling them to make links between research and practice Encouraging learners to teach one another Not only do they benefit from each other's expertise, but they can also develop improved practices and processes together
  15. 15. VCoPVCoP: Considerations for Application: Considerations for Application Virtual communities of practice as part of an instructional plan: Pedagogically must be structured to be aligned with learning objectives Formal structures must be put into place to allow for this kind of learning Communication tools must be distributed and mastered by learners and facilitators in order to ensure that interaction occurs The chosen technology must be able to capture conversations and exchanges
  16. 16. Managing Learning and a CareerManaging Learning and a Career “What I like about the International Aviation MBA Program is its applicability to real-life situations. I was able to implement whatever I learned in the IAMBA Global Executive Program to my daily work effectively and with impressive results.” Haile Belai Class of 2004 Chief, Universal Safety Oversight Audit Section, ICAO
  17. 17. Global Aviation MBA ProgramGlobal Aviation MBA Program Format adopted: 4 semesters (2 years) Initial offering: October 2000 Since then 3 classes have graduated and 1 is in progress GAMBA Alumni are in the process of developing a community of practice Distance Education 2 Week Session 2 Week Session 2 Week Session 2 Week Session
  18. 18. GAMBA StudentsGAMBA Students -- Countries of OriginCountries of Origin CanadaCanada TrinidadTrinidad EcuadorEcuador USAUSA GhanaGhana FranceFrance EstoniaEstoniaIrelandIreland LatviaLatvia GermanyGermany SwedenSweden EnglandEngland IcelandIceland MauritiusMauritius NewNew ZealandZealand IndiaIndia ChinaChina JapanJapan RussiaRussia Hong KongHong Kong SingaporeSingapore SouthSouth AfricaAfrica SwitzerlandSwitzerland BosniaBosniaItalyItaly GambiaGambia U.A.EU.A.E RomaniaRomania
  19. 19. Recent Distance Education ProjectsRecent Distance Education Projects Development of Airport Executive Leadership Program in partnership with ACI Development of Aviation Security Management program in partnership with ICAO VCoP in the mandate These programs are further enriched by the formation of a community of practice that continues well beyond the initial course delivery.
  20. 20. Professional Link to Aviation IndustryProfessional Link to Aviation Industry A competitive advantage in a growing industry Unique learning environment, international and professional More than 70 client organizations from around the world Integrated industry focus through formal and ongoing consultations and partnerships with…
  21. 21. Needs AnalysisNeeds Analysis For a VirtualFor a Virtual Community ofCommunity of PracticePractice Preparing a list of considerations
  22. 22. Is aIs a VCoPVCoP the Correct Strategy?the Correct Strategy? Considerations Fit with VCoP Learners work in industry and/or have prior knowledge about subject matter Learners are dispersed geographically or have schedules that do not permit them to meet face to face An instructional objective is to promote life long learning An program objective is to promote virtual team work
  23. 23. Attributes of AAttributes of A VCoPVCoP Size Life span Physical boundaries, such as: Collocated or distributed Homogenous or heterogeneous Inside and across boundaries, such as: Within business Across business units Across organizational boundaries Formality Spontaneous or intentional Unrecognized to institutionalized Source: Wenger, McDermott and Snyder (2002), “Cultivating Communities of Practice”
  24. 24. Structural Elements of aStructural Elements of a VCoPVCoP Domain, which: Legitimizes the community Defines boundaries Community, which: Provides an environment for people to interact, share and learn Enables relationship building Practice, which: Encompasses the shared knowledge assets of the community, such as: Framework Ideas Tools Information Styles Language Stories Documents Source: Wenger, McDermott and Snyder (2002), “Cultivating Communities of Practice”
  25. 25. VirtualVirtual Community ofCommunity of Practice DesignPractice Design Outlining a list of requirements
  26. 26. Stages of Community DevelopmentStages of Community Development The jagged line represents the level of energy and visibility that the community typically generates over time. Levels of Energy and Visibility TimeDevelopmental Tensions Discover/ Imagine Incubate/Deliver Immediate Value Focus/ Expand Ownership/ Openness Let Go/ Live On Potential Coalescing Maturing Stewardship Transformation Planning and Launching Communities of Practice Source: Wenger, McDermott and Snyder (2002), “Cultivating Communities of Practice”
  27. 27. PotentialPotential At this stage: Informal network of learners with differing experiences but with similar issues and needs Learners need to discover common ground and discover each others’ strengths Structural Elements Key Issues Domain To define the scope of domain of interest to the members as well as being aligned to the organisation. Community To discover extant social network that engages in that topic. Practice To identify the common knowledge needs.
  28. 28. CoalescingCoalescing At this stage: Learners start to find value in engaging in learning activities and design a community Structural Elements Key Issues Domain To establish the value of sharing domain knowledge. Community To develop sufficient trust to discuss practice problems. Practice To discover what knowledge should be shared and how.
  29. 29. Metaphor for DesignMetaphor for Design Wenger, McDermott and Snyder offer an analogy of growing a plant, which is a useful one in conveying the organic process in cultivating communities of practice Source: Wenger, McDermott and Snyder (2002), “Cultivating Communities of Practice”
  30. 30. Designing with Goals in MindDesigning with Goals in Mind Explicit design principles: shows the relationships between elements makes it possible to be more flexible and improvisational Networking and knowledge sharing Team building and distributed virtual work teams processes Theoretical framework for efficient problem-solving for company/industry problems and opportunities Conceptual Practical
  31. 31. Steps for Designing aSteps for Designing a VCoPVCoP 1. Design for evolution 2. Open a dialogue between inside and outside perspectives 3. Invite different levels of participation 4. Develop both public and private community spaces 5. Focus on value 6. Combine familiarity and excitement 7. Create a rhythm for the community Source: Wenger, McDermott and Snyder (2002), “Cultivating Communities of Practice”
  32. 32. Design for EvolutionDesign for Evolution Design Requirements Steering rather the (re)creating Should be catalysts for a community's natural evolution Resembling life-long learning strategies Fewer elements at the beginning and focus on recruiting potential members Should introduce new practices and elements gradually Characteristics Organic Evolve naturally Dynamic by nature Build on existing connections New membership may shift focus Reflect on and redesign elements of themselves throughout their existence Source: Wenger, McDermott and Snyder (2002), “Cultivating Communities of Practice”
  33. 33. Open a Dialogue for Multiple PerspectivesOpen a Dialogue for Multiple Perspectives Characteristics Insider appreciate: The issues at the heart of the domain The shared knowledge The challenges their field faces The potential in emerging ideas and techniques Insiders can identify the real players are and their relationships Insiders can understand of community issues Outsiders can help members see the possibilities Design requirements An insider's perspective to lead the discovery of what the community is about Built on the collective experience of community members Channels to bring information from outside the community into the dialogue about what the community could achieve Tools to educates community members about the role of communities Source: Wenger, McDermott and Snyder (2002), “Cultivating Communities of Practice”
  34. 34. Invite Different Levels of ParticipationInvite Different Levels of Participation Characteristics It is unrealistic encourage all community members to participate equally Three main levels of community participation: The heart of the community The active group The peripheral group Outsiders who have an interest in the community Design Requirements Many levels of participation A "coordinator" A healthy degree of movement between levels Participants at all levels to feel like full members Create opportunities for active members to take limited leadership roles Draw members into more active participationCommunity members move through these levels because the boundaries of a community are fluid. Source: Wenger, McDermott and Snyder (2002), “Cultivating Communities of Practice”
  35. 35. Develop Public and Private SpacesDevelop Public and Private Spaces Characteristics Rich with connections that happen both in: The public places The private spaces, which helps strengthen relationships amongst members. The public and private dimensions of a community are interrelated Participants often have multiple agendas: Completing a group task Finding help Design Requirements Public events: Members experience being part of the community See who participates Gain a better appreciation overall Private spaces: Assess the needs of community members Good communities orchestrate activities in both public and private spaces Source: Wenger, McDermott and Snyder (2002), “Cultivating Communities of Practice”
  36. 36. Focus on ValueFocus on Value Characteristics Value is key to community life Full value is often not apparent at first Source of value often changes over the life of the community Early value often comes from focusing on the current problems and needs Design Requirements Should develop a systematic and fully accessible body of knowledge Should promote events, activities, and relationships that help their value emerge and enable members to discover ways to harvest it Should trace the impact of a shared idea which takes time and attention Should encourage community members to be explicit about the value of the community throughout its lifetime Many of the most valuable community activities are the small, everyday interactions. Source: Wenger, McDermott and Snyder (2002), “Cultivating Communities of Practice”
  37. 37. Combine Familiarity and ExcitementCombine Familiarity and Excitement Characteristics Successful communities offer: Familiarity, which creates a comfort level, which in turn invites candid discussions Excitement, which enables divergent thinking and activity, which in turn complements familiarity Design Requirements Should combine both familiar and exciting events: Routine activities provide the stability for relationship- building connections Exciting events provide a sense of common adventure. Source: Wenger, McDermott and Snyder (2002), “Cultivating Communities of Practice”
  38. 38. Create a Rhythm for the CommunityCreate a Rhythm for the Community Characteristics The rhythm is the strongest indicator of its aliveness too fast: feels breathless too slow: feels sluggish The tempo is influenced by the rhythm There are many rhythms in a community: The syncopation of familiar and exciting events The frequency of private interactions The ebb and flow from the sidelines into active participation The pace of the community's overall evolution Design Requirements Should combine whole- community and small-group gatherings To create a balance between the thrill of exposure to many different ideas To permit the comfort of more intimate relationships Should have a mix of idea- sharing forums and tool- building projects To foster casual connections To promote directed community action Source: Wenger, McDermott and Snyder (2002), “Cultivating Communities of Practice”
  39. 39. Considerations forConsiderations for VCoPsVCoPs Because VCoPs most often serve distributed communities, additional efforts in 4 development activities are required: Achieving stakeholder alignment Creating a local/global structure Building a strong rhythm to maintain visibility Develop the private spaces more systematically
  40. 40. VCoPVCoP Local/Global StructureLocal/Global Structure Regional group Small local group Small local group Local coordinator Global coordinator Large local group Source: McDermott and Jackson (2000), “Designing Global Communities” Designing a distributed community with a fractal approach
  41. 41. Drafting aDrafting a VirtualVirtual Community ofCommunity of PracticePractice BlueprintBlueprint An Exercise
  42. 42. Thank youThank you Question & comments
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