RE: ::{{FOC}}:: A bit of thinking on Learning Communities

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Greg Barcelon

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Sep 1, 2008, 10:58:04 AM9/1/08
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John Pallister closed the post "A bit of thinking on Learning Communities" with the line "Effective participation is an important skill for learner of all ages."

 

I wonder what the ideal participation ratio is in an online community, if there is such a thing. In his presentation on Institutions vs. collaboration Clay Shirky talks about the importance of even a single contribution from a member. Given that, how much “air time” should the Facilitator be using vs the rest of the members of a community? Browsing through the documentation of the activity of the group John was referring to, it looks like the facilitator made 48% of the postings, and together with just one other member, contributed 75% of all the postings. By way of comparison, in this group, the Facilitator has contributed 14% of all the postings. Maybe this kind of analysis is irrelevant, but just the same how do we measure the participation by the rest of the members relative to it being a community?

John Pallister

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Sep 1, 2008, 3:23:14 PM9/1/08
to Facilitating Online Communities
Hi Greg - It would be really useful if someone did this type of
Analysis on a range of On-line Communities, from those that are very
active/successful to ones that fail. I have watched/followed my ICT
related discussions, tyhe only ones that appear to generate a lot of
posts, and repeat posts are those that relate to hardware (eg Becta
Forum Laptops vs Desktops)

I am sure the analysis would suggest that there will be a point when
the Facilitator is really flogging a dead horse, or indulging his/her
need for audience/attention, if he/she is posting at a particular
level, after the 'start up/priming period'. Deciding when the start-up/
priming period should stop!

I think what I have really concluded is that a Community does need a
'Facilitaor' and that, at the moment, learners will need be
'encouraged' to contribute. What we, as teachers, cannot assume is
that if we simply set-up communities for or learners, and expect them
participate- they will not. They need to be taught, encouraged and
supported. The taught bit might throw the spanner into our thinking!

Learners need to be 'happy' to contribute even if they do not recieve
comments. The same goes for Blogging, It is only when a Blogger comes
to terms with the fact that are unlikely to receive comments on their
posts, that they will settle in to regularly posting. Another
interesting anaysis, find a range of successful Bloggs ( useful
content, delivered regularly in a accessible fashion), and look at the
number of comments compared with the number of reads. You are working
in a very interesting area.

John

On 1 Sep, 15:58, Greg Barcelon <gbarce...@shaw.ca> wrote:
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Sarah Stewart

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Sep 1, 2008, 4:27:10 PM9/1/08
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Hi John

I think your comment here about blogging is very true and needs to be emphasized to new bloggers. Goes back to the 1% rule that Leigh is always talking about - just because people do not comment doesn't mean they are not reading your posts and learning from them.

cheers Sarah



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Sarah Stewart
http://sarah-stewart.blogspot.com
Skype: sarah.m.stewart
Twitter: SarahStewart

Leigh Blackall

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Sep 1, 2008, 6:03:11 PM9/1/08
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Interesting topic emerging here, and if you guys follow it through - I'm sure you will develop some very useful tools and information that will help us analyse online communities throughout the various platforms we will look at.

Some reflection on this FOC08 experience in relation to the emerging topic:

I am quietly delighted that I have only contributed to 14% of the email forum's discussion. In past courses, and in most online communities I am a member of, I am way above the 50% line. The fact that I am able to take a back seat so early in this course (in the email forum at least) is perhaps evidence of a functional online community developing here. The icing on the cake will be if this group develops into more than a community of practice focused on one specific event (this course) and continues beyond this course on things generally related to online facilitation. Sure, many would see it as a community of practice still.. it doesn't really matter, what matters is the sense of communal connection.

The 1% rule Sarah mentions. I work to that rule in almost everything. To be honest, I work more to a 10% rule when working in focus groups (1% speaks specifically about the wider Internet). In my experience, socially constructed learning experiences need about 10 - 20 people actively involved and exchanging. Following the 10% rule, that means we need 100 - 200 people involved in the event or activity. That's for setting up environments for socially constructed learning - such as online communities.
--
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Leigh Blackall
+64(0)21736539
skype - leigh_blackall
SL - Leroy Goalpost
http://learnonline.wordpress.com

artie

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Sep 2, 2008, 8:28:01 PM9/2/08
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Hello People,
 
"They need to be taught, encouraged and
supported. The taught bit might throw the spanner into our thinking!" - John Pallister
 
For me CoP = traditional service organization, such as Rotary, Lions, Democratic (Republican) Party. In these types of clubs, the main thrust of the training is in how to participate in the club itself from the get-go. The training is broken down into the simplest parts, making it easy to begin and progressively challenging.
 
This is why I am interested in setting up workshops in the simplest skills like Clocks and Time, Arranging Online Appointments, Blogger, etc. So the community can verify that participants are up to par in all levels of skills.
 
In that light, I think that the FOC07 people might develop their own program course that promotes this FOC08. You might organize yourselves and define your role in the context of this course. What would you like to have had when you started? A buddy? So define a Buddy Program. Find out what FOC08 is trying to accomplish and learn how to be the best support. This is a whole new level of skills for you to learn.
 
That would make the FOC community a true Community of Practice because in a practice there is always some new skill to acquire.

Jeffrey Keefer

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Sep 3, 2008, 4:14:49 PM9/3/08
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One of the reasons I think this may be happening is because emails are immediate. I am able to reply to your email question while sitting in a train waiting for it to leave via my BlackBerry. Though underground, this response will get sent as soon as I go above ground again.

I cannot blog from here, and as I want to reply immediately, this seems the best option.

That GoogleGroups archives and makes all this searchable only seems to increase its use.

Jeffrey
------Original Message------
From: valerie
Sender: facilitating-on...@googlegroups.com
To: Facilitating Online Communities
ReplyTo: facilitating-on...@googlegroups.com
Sent: Sep 3, 2008 10:41 AM
Subject: ::{{FOC}}:: Re: A bit of thinking on Learning Communities


Thanks John. Although I thought you might have just pasted your
previous group email posting text into the blog, What is in the blog
doesn't include all the same information.

I assumed, apparently incorrectly, that you were participating in the
FOC08 "course" as you have posted regularly to this group. While I
have no problem with email groups in general, the FOC08 course places
an emphasis on blogs as a means of communication. I had not
participated in a course structured this way before. I am very
interested to see how it works out.

The continued reliance by some on the emails is an interesting pattern
- why is this happening when the instructions to blog are clear?


On Sep 2, 11:00 am, John Pallister <jpallis...@aol.com> wrote:
> Good evening Valerie and all  - what abouthttp://eduspaces.net/jpallister/weblog/441756.html
> - would that do the job?
>
> Your last post got me thinking, not really sure about the FOC08
> program, I am just drifting; following others that are in other
> communities that I belong to.



-----
Jeffrey Keefer
Website: www.jeffreykeefer.com
Blog: www.silenceandvoice.com

artie

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Sep 6, 2008, 2:44:51 PM9/6/08
to Facilitating Online Communities
The only immediate communication on the Internet is from one machine
to another machine. Communication between people along the lines of a
latitude are extremely
slow in comparison to communications on a line of longitude.

http://foc08-artie.blogspot.com/2008/08/latitudes-and-longitudes-comfort-zone.html


On Sep 3, 3:14 pm, "Jeffrey Keefer" <jeff...@silenceandvoice.com>
wrote:
> One of the reasons I think this may be happening is because emails are immediate. I am able to reply to your email question while sitting in atrainwaiting for it to leave via my BlackBerry. Though underground, this response will get sent as soon as I go above ground again.
> Blog:www.silenceandvoice.com- Hide quoted text -
>
> - Show quoted text -
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