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Benchmarks for participation?

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  • coloursofjazz
    Hi, I m new to this group. I am managing a fledgling CoP in the early stages, consisting of translators of several public organisations, who are using an
    Message 1 of 21 , Dec 3, 2008
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      Hi, I'm new to this group. I am managing a fledgling CoP in the early
      stages, consisting of translators of several public organisations, who
      are using an online tool to exchange information.

      Management is not sure this is successful as usage statistics don't
      seem to move.

      Is there any literature that would provide benchmarks on how many
      percent of your population you can expect to contribute (at all) at the
      different stages of building a CoP?

      thanks in advance,
      Dirk
    • CompanyCmd@aol.com
      Dirk,? 10 percent is a number that I ve seen in several studies.? The big idea I believe is that a small number of people?are typically responsible for the
      Message 2 of 21 , Dec 7, 2008
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        Dirk,?

        10 percent is a number that I've seen in several studies.? The big idea I believe is that a small number of people?are typically responsible for the majority of activity, and this phenomenon appears to be common across?different types of "communities" to include even face-to-face -- geographic communities.? One interesting observation is that people may flow in and out of participation and so that "10 percent" number at any one point in time may reflect a larger number of members who are active over a longer period of time.

        One question worthy of consideration is, "What?constitutes participation?"??Is it possible that members of the community you are working with are benefiting (and learning) while not necessarily being "visible" participants?

        Tony?

        -----Original Message-----
        From: coloursofjazz <coloursofjazz@...>
        To: com-prac@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Wed, 3 Dec 2008 9:31 am
        Subject: [cp] Benchmarks for participation?






        Hi, I'm new to this group. I am managing a fledgling CoP in the early
        stages, consisting of translators of several public organisations, who
        are using an online tool to exchange information.

        Management is not sure this is successful as usage statistics don't
        seem to move.

        Is there any literature that would provide benchmarks on how many
        percent of your population you can expect to contribute (at all) at the
        different stages of building a CoP?

        thanks in advance,
        Dirk






        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Matt Moore
        Dirk - How many people are involved in your CoP? Tony makes an interesting point. When I took apart the stats from one established online email list (with
        Message 3 of 21 , Dec 7, 2008
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          Dirk - How many people are involved in your CoP?

          Tony makes an interesting point. When I took apart the stats from one established online email list (with several hundred members) over 2 years, I found that about 25% of potential participants (people who were members of the community for at least part of that period) actually contributed. However if you looked at any one month, there was about a 10% (or less) contribution rate.

          The majority of the those posters made less than 3 posts and the overall contribution stats looked suspiciously like a power law (with one poster making 10% of all posts).

          Anecdotally, non (or infrequent) posters got a lot out of it and there was plenty of "shadow" activity with people talking to each other via private email or some other mechanism.

          Some data: http://www.flickr.com/photos/76459332@N00/2404587565/

          Actually surveying the members and asking them about value and means of interaction they use may turn up more.

          Dunno if this helps.





















          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • John Parboosingh
          Thanks for this conversation, You state: Anecdotally, non (or infrequent) posters got a lot out of it and there was plenty of shadow activity with people
          Message 4 of 21 , Dec 8, 2008
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            Thanks for this conversation,
            You state: "Anecdotally, non (or infrequent) posters got a lot out of it and there was plenty of "shadow" activity with people talking to each other via private email or some other mechanism."
            I see cultured (in contrast to natural) CoPs in organizations simply acting as catalysts, preparing (thru relationship building) and prompting the members to better (more productively) interact outside of the CoP within their sphere of practice (work or business). If this is so, then assessment of the value of a CoP has to explore the existence of these (external) networks and determine their value.
            Just a thought
            John Parboosingh MB FRCSC
            Professor Emeritus, University of Calgary
            Consultant, Community Learning



            ----- Original Message -----
            From: Matt Moore
            To: com-prac@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Sunday, December 07, 2008 7:36 PM
            Subject: Re: [cp] Benchmarks for participation?


            Dirk - How many people are involved in your CoP?

            Tony makes an interesting point. When I took apart the stats from one established online email list (with several hundred members) over 2 years, I found that about 25% of potential participants (people who were members of the community for at least part of that period) actually contributed. However if you looked at any one month, there was about a 10% (or less) contribution rate.

            The majority of the those posters made less than 3 posts and the overall contribution stats looked suspiciously like a power law (with one poster making 10% of all posts).

            Anecdotally, non (or infrequent) posters got a lot out of it and there was plenty of "shadow" activity with people talking to each other via private email or some other mechanism.

            Some data: http://www.flickr.com/photos/76459332@N00/2404587565/

            Actually surveying the members and asking them about value and means of interaction they use may turn up more.

            Dunno if this helps.










            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Matt Moore
            John, I agree with this. To spin it another way, in another cross-silo community I stewarded (this one non-online and within a single organisation), we
            Message 5 of 21 , Dec 8, 2008
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              John,

              I agree with this. To spin it another way, in another cross-silo community I stewarded (this one non-online and within a single organisation), we measured attendance to events as a proxy for engagement. But when we talked to participants, we found they were talking about what they'd heard, seen and discussed at these community events with their colleagues who were not attending. Hence there were benefits to non-members (a kind of penumbra effect).

              Cheers,

              Matt

              "I see cultured (in contrast to natural) CoPs in organizations simply
              acting as catalysts, preparing (thru relationship building) and
              prompting the members to better (more productively) interact outside of
              the CoP within their sphere of practice (work or business). If this is
              so, then assessment of the value of a CoP has to explore the existence
              of these (external) networks and determine their value."





















              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • John D. Smith
              There s a whole other discussion about evaluation here. I think we generally assume that a questionnaire is the gold standard for inquiry about value of an
              Message 6 of 21 , Dec 8, 2008
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                There's a whole other discussion about evaluation here.

                I think we generally assume that a questionnaire is the gold standard for
                inquiry about value of an organized community for its members -- that it
                will get at people who read but do not post and find "the truth". I'm more
                and more dubious about questionnaires -- they are interventions in a
                community and often send a message that's somehow, mysteriously "official"
                into a conversational and social space that's important because it's
                "informal". When they do so unconsciously, it's a problem.

                Recently I bumped into an effort that explicitly sets out to look at the
                benefits to non-members -- called trace analysis. Although it comes from
                innovation dissemination studies (with an ethnographic twist), I think it's
                intriguing. Once again we find that "the email list is not the community"
                (or variants thereof).

                (I thought twice before posting, Matt, knowing that one more message from me
                will add to the cumulative total and wondering, "is this helpful to say?"
                :-)

                John
                *
                * John D. Smith ~ Voice: 503.963.8229 ~ Skype: smithjd
                * Portland, Oregon, USA http://www.learningAlliances.net
                * "Adaptability is the province of critique." - Christopher Kelty
              • Matt Moore
                John, I think that questionnaires are one of many tools that you can use - but they are quite limited. They tend to only confirm what you already know. Great
                Message 7 of 21 , Dec 8, 2008
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                  John,

                  I think that questionnaires are one of many tools that you can use - but they are quite limited. They tend to only confirm what you already know. Great for producing pretty bar charts to put in presentations (almost as pretty - and as useful - as stats on numbers of posts or document downloads). I like having conversations with members (which can be justified with senior managers as "semi-structured interviews") - that's where most of the interesting stuff pops up.

                  Trace Analysis sounds interesting - any references (my trip to Google has yielded results about analysing for trace chemicals)? See John, I'm inviting you to post...

                  Cheers,

                  Matt





















                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Richard Brehler
                  ... .. But when we talked to participants, we found they were talking about what they d heard, seen and discussed at these community events with their
                  Message 8 of 21 , Dec 9, 2008
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                    --- In com-prac@yahoogroups.com, Matt Moore <laalgadger@...> wrote:
                    ".. But when we talked to participants, we found they were talking about what they'd heard,
                    seen and discussed at these community events with their colleagues who were not
                    attending. Hence there were benefits to non-members (a kind of penumbra effect)."

                    This maybe a little disjointed (it's way too early to be thinking straight), but this thread,
                    juxtaposed with the call for papers on theorizing practice (i.e., "...the understanding of the
                    mechanisms..."), started me down a number of bunny trails:

                    - Sometimes what gets measured is what's measureable, not what really matters. One can
                    look at participation as a proxy for "success" in a CoP or in justification for continued
                    investment, or gather anecdotal testimony from participants as to the value they
                    derive/perceive, or a bit of both, or maybe lots of other dimensions. It may not matter.
                    Deming once said something along the lines of "the most important information
                    management needs is both unknown and unknowable."

                    - I started looking again at William Whyte's "Street Corner Society" and thinking to myself
                    "but CoPs is what human beings DO in social groups! CoPs have some differentiating
                    characteristics (e.g., domain, practice, etc.), but the mechanisms are inherent in the
                    material."

                    - I stopped smoking a couple of years back (a heart attack is a powerful motivator) but
                    didn't stop hanging outside every couple of hours - I quickly found I was missing too
                    many serendipitous interactions that happened as people went in and out of the building
                    that were critical to my "success" in doing organizational work. Is smoking a mechanism
                    of the "penumbra effect"?

                    - I cringe a bit whenever I see a phrase like "...the relationship between CoPs and their
                    outcomes." I participate/exist in many CoPs, though have never been motivated to do so
                    by anticipating "outcomes." I either enjoy the company or the conversation - but wait,
                    aren't those the same things???

                    Just thinking out loud....
                  • coloursofjazz
                    Dear all, Thanks for all your input - this confirms my intuition: there are theoretically about 3000 participants, and around 10-15 new posts per day (as far
                    Message 9 of 21 , Dec 9, 2008
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                      Dear all,

                      Thanks for all your input - this confirms my intuition: there are
                      theoretically about 3000 participants, and around 10-15 new posts per
                      day (as far as I can see from a mailbox that receives a copy of each
                      post). Per day, however, about 200 mails are sent automatically to
                      people subscribed to "discussions" on a particular document. Above
                      all that, stats show that the number of read accesses to the database
                      is 10 times bigger than the number of write accesses.

                      To explain all this to management, I thought of a parallel:

                      If communication in an organisation had to be improved, would you
                      start counting the number of mails sent by each branch to the other
                      branches?

                      Or would you rather
                      - check whether all branches know of the existence and the needs of
                      the other branches
                      - check what the means for communication are
                      - check what the quality of communication is?

                      I'll continue looking into the real posts to see if I can dig up some
                      more evidence, and keep you posted.

                      Thanks again,
                      Dirk
                    • Fred Nickols
                      I m glad to see the adjective fledgling in front of CoP. That s because I doubt you really have a CoP - at least not yet. I m less glad to see building a
                      Message 10 of 21 , Dec 9, 2008
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                        I'm glad to see the adjective "fledgling" in front of CoP. That's
                        because I doubt you really have a CoP - at least not yet.

                        I'm less glad to see "building a CoP" at the end of your post. I
                        don't think CoPs are built. I think you can support them if you find
                        them; I think you can try to plant the seeds for CoPs and then nourish
                        or cultivate them if those seeds take root. I don't think you can
                        build them.

                        "Percentage of population contributing" sounds like the kind of
                        measure a manager bent on "mining" the knowledge of CoP members might
                        use. Like many measures posed by management, it's an indicator of
                        activity level, not of outcome or result. If someone higher up your
                        food chain is saddling you with that measure, I think you're in for a
                        rough ride.

                        Finally, based on what I know of CoPs (partly based on the literature
                        and partly based on experience), I think participation/contribution
                        levels vary widely from member to member. Some people rarely if ever
                        actively participate/contribute; others do so most of the time; some
                        get involved depending on the issue or on who else is involved; some
                        do so on the basis of personal/professional interest; some do so on
                        the basis of the level of their expertise and the difficulty of the
                        problem faced; etc, etc, etc.

                        So, in closing, I think you're better off looking for indicators of
                        what the intended members of this CoP are getting out of it. If
                        they're not getting much of anything, "fledgling" is too strong an
                        adjective. On the other hand, if it turns out they're getting a lot
                        out of it, then you might really have a budding CoP.

                        As plainly as I can put it, a CoP is sustained (or it dies) based on
                        what its members get out of it, not what management gets out of it.

                        Regards,

                        Fred "Curmudgeon" Nickols
                        nickols@...



                        --- In com-prac@yahoogroups.com, "coloursofjazz" <coloursofjazz@...>
                        wrote:
                        >
                        > Hi, I'm new to this group. I am managing a fledgling CoP in the early
                        > stages, consisting of translators of several public organisations, who
                        > are using an online tool to exchange information.
                        >
                        > Management is not sure this is successful as usage statistics don't
                        > seem to move.
                        >
                        > Is there any literature that would provide benchmarks on how many
                        > percent of your population you can expect to contribute (at all) at the
                        > different stages of building a CoP?
                        >
                        > thanks in advance,
                        > Dirk
                        >
                      • Roy Greenhalgh
                        Hi y all An interesting stream. A couple of points. Matt wrote:- I think that questionnaires are one of many tools that you can use - but they are quite
                        Message 11 of 21 , Dec 11, 2008
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                          Hi y'all

                          An interesting stream.

                          A couple of points.

                          Matt wrote:-
                          I think that questionnaires are one of many tools that you can use - but
                          they are quite limited. They tend to only confirm what you already know.

                          I disagree. It does of course depend on what you ask. It is so easy
                          to create a questionnaire that does indeed ask questions where you are
                          are simply seeking confirmation. But a well thought out questionnaire,
                          which starts from the standpoint of plain ignorance can produce a huge
                          wealth of information. There are far better forms of analysis than
                          "pretty bar charts".

                          Secondly, if one is analysing emails distribution and patterns, it may
                          be worth looking at some of the work Valdis Krebs has done with network
                          analysis. What emerges isn't just numbers, but the relationships and
                          perhaps their intensities between the posters.

                          Roy Greenhalgh

                          coloursofjazz wrote:
                          > Dear all,
                          >
                          > Thanks for all your input - this confirms my intuition: there are
                          > theoretically about 3000 participants, and around 10-15 new posts per
                          > day (as far as I can see from a mailbox that receives a copy of each
                          > post). Per day, however, about 200 mails are sent automatically to
                          > people subscribed to "discussions" on a particular document. Above
                          > all that, stats show that the number of read accesses to the database
                          > is 10 times bigger than the number of write accesses.
                          >
                          > To explain all this to management, I thought of a parallel:
                          >
                          > If communication in an organisation had to be improved, would you
                          > start counting the number of mails sent by each branch to the other
                          > branches?
                          >
                          > Or would you rather
                          > - check whether all branches know of the existence and the needs of
                          > the other branches
                          > - check what the means for communication are
                          > - check what the quality of communication is?
                          >
                          > I'll continue looking into the real posts to see if I can dig up some
                          > more evidence, and keep you posted.
                          >
                          > Thanks again,
                          > Dirk
                          >
                          >
                          > ------------------------------------
                          >
                          > *-- The email forum on communities of practice --*Yahoo! Groups Links
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                        • Matt Moore
                          Roy, My issue with surveys is not that they are useless, just that many organisations treat them as the main way of obtaining feedback or assessing
                          Message 12 of 21 , Dec 11, 2008
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                            Roy,

                            My issue with surveys is not that they are useless, just that many organisations treat them as the main way of obtaining feedback or assessing effectiveness when they should be just one of a range of techniques. You are right: a well-written survey with a robust sample response can generate insights. My experience is that there are too many 'pretty bar chart' surveys out there ("Why is the sample size in 4 point font? Oh, that's why...") Typically I would want to use a range of techniques rather than putting my eggs in one basket.

                            I'm glad you mentioned the work of Valdis Krebs. Another network analysis junkie (Graham Durant-Law) carried out an analysis of the same group over a different period - which yielded some nice insights. I'd like to see more community software with SNA functionality built in but I suspect that's a few years off (altho Trampoline are making some moves in this direction from an enterprise network perspective).

                            Cheers,

                            Matt





















                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • John D. Smith
                            If we believe that there s something situated about learning, we should suspect that there s something situated about inquiry. I ve just finished Andreas
                            Message 13 of 21 , Dec 11, 2008
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                              If we believe that there's something situated about learning, we should
                              suspect that there's something situated about inquiry. I've just finished
                              Andreas Lloyd's thesis on Ubuntu, which has LOTS of examples where you have
                              to develop a relationship and a context to be able to ask certain things.
                              You could not have produced the insights about the motivations of Ubuntu
                              hackers just by doing "interviews" (much less the standard, which is "a
                              surveymonkey").

                              For an extended study of why we should regard surveys with skepticism if we
                              want to learn stuff that's relevant for leading, supporting, or evaluating
                              communities of practice, do read:

                              Charles L. Briggs, Learning How to Ask; A Sociolinguistic Appraisal of the
                              Role of the Interview in Social Science Research (Cambridge: Cambridge
                              University Press, 1986).

                              http://www.cambridge.org/catalogue/catalogue.asp?isbn=0521311136

                              A sample quote:

                              "Interview techniques smuggle outmoded preconceptions out of the realm of
                              conscious theory and into that of methodology." p 3.

                              I've just started another book by one of those IRL kids (Seely Bron, Wenger,
                              Lave, Brigitte Jordan, Mimi Ito, etc.) that promises to help demolish the
                              uncontested supremacy of surveys:

                              Charlotte Linde, Working the Past; Narrative and Institutional Memory (New
                              York: Oxford University Press, 2009) http://isbn.nu/9780195140293

                              A snippet from the introduction is an important point: people tell different
                              stories (even about themselves) when the story could be contested by others
                              (enter the social dimension). Just think about it: our stories about
                              ourselves (and who we are) are not just owned by us -- others have
                              legitimate versions of those stories and it's often in the mixing and
                              confrontation that new truths emerge.

                              John
                              *
                              * John D. Smith ~ Voice: 503.963.8229 ~ Skype: smithjd
                              * Portland, Oregon, USA http://www.learningAlliances.net
                              * "Adaptability is the province of critique." - Christopher Kelty
                            • Roy Greenhalgh
                              Dear John Surveys are approximations. Time is the biggest constraint. We know that if we were to do the survey on a different day with different conditions
                              Message 14 of 21 , Dec 12, 2008
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                                Dear John

                                Surveys are approximations. Time is the biggest constraint. We know
                                that if we were to do the survey on a different day with different
                                conditions operating, we stand a high chance of receiving different
                                responses. But to date we haven't found a way of knowing the range of
                                those differences. "What was your mean, and more importantly, what was
                                the standard deviation?"

                                We also know that interviews done "cold", i.e. with no previous time to
                                develop even the start of a relationship, there is a high probability
                                that we are being given the responses that the interviewee thinks we want.

                                You are right when you say that the context in which we conduct the
                                interview is conditioned strongly by the nature of the relationship we
                                develop.

                                But data gathering is an approximate science .. even an art as one of my
                                supervisors claims.

                                Roy

                                John D. Smith wrote:
                                > If we believe that there's something situated about learning, we should
                                > suspect that there's something situated about inquiry. I've just finished
                                > Andreas Lloyd's thesis on Ubuntu, which has LOTS of examples where you have
                                > to develop a relationship and a context to be able to ask certain things.
                                > You could not have produced the insights about the motivations of Ubuntu
                                > hackers just by doing "interviews" (much less the standard, which is "a
                                > surveymonkey").
                                >
                                > For an extended study of why we should regard surveys with skepticism if we
                                > want to learn stuff that's relevant for leading, supporting, or evaluating
                                > communities of practice, do read:
                                >
                                > Charles L. Briggs, Learning How to Ask; A Sociolinguistic Appraisal of the
                                > Role of the Interview in Social Science Research (Cambridge: Cambridge
                                > University Press, 1986).
                                >
                                > http://www.cambridge.org/catalogue/catalogue.asp?isbn=0521311136
                                >
                                > A sample quote:
                                >
                                > "Interview techniques smuggle outmoded preconceptions out of the realm of
                                > conscious theory and into that of methodology." p 3.
                                >
                                > I've just started another book by one of those IRL kids (Seely Bron, Wenger,
                                > Lave, Brigitte Jordan, Mimi Ito, etc.) that promises to help demolish the
                                > uncontested supremacy of surveys:
                                >
                                > Charlotte Linde, Working the Past; Narrative and Institutional Memory (New
                                > York: Oxford University Press, 2009) http://isbn.nu/9780195140293
                                >
                                > A snippet from the introduction is an important point: people tell different
                                > stories (even about themselves) when the story could be contested by others
                                > (enter the social dimension). Just think about it: our stories about
                                > ourselves (and who we are) are not just owned by us -- others have
                                > legitimate versions of those stories and it's often in the mixing and
                                > confrontation that new truths emerge.
                                >
                                > John
                                > *
                                > * John D. Smith ~ Voice: 503.963.8229 ~ Skype: smithjd
                                > * Portland, Oregon, USA http://www.learningAlliances.net
                                > * "Adaptability is the province of critique." - Christopher Kelty
                                >
                                >
                                > ------------------------------------
                                >
                                > *-- The email forum on communities of practice --*Yahoo! Groups Links
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                              • John D. Smith
                                But back to the subject, Roy, Wouldn t you agree that surveys and questionnaires are at their worst precisely in the areas where communities of practice dwell?
                                Message 15 of 21 , Dec 12, 2008
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                                  But back to the subject, Roy,

                                  Wouldn't you agree that surveys and questionnaires are at their worst
                                  precisely in the areas where communities of practice dwell?

                                  John
                                  *
                                  * John D. Smith ~ Voice: 503.963.8229 ~ Skype: smithjd
                                  * Portland, Oregon, USA http://www.learningAlliances.net
                                  * “Adaptability is the province of critique.” — Christopher Kelty
                                • Nancy White
                                  Why would they be better or worse in the areas where communities of practice dwell. Wouldn t it be more important HOW communities used surveys and
                                  Message 16 of 21 , Dec 12, 2008
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                                    Why would they be better or worse "in the areas where communities of
                                    practice dwell." Wouldn't it be more important HOW communities used
                                    surveys and questionnaires?

                                    In other words, what is a "communities of practice perspective" on surveys?

                                    Here are a few ideas:
                                    * survey's can help us improve our ability to ask good questions
                                    * survey's can "test the water" and help clarify issues of
                                    interest/importance to the community
                                    * survey's can help us identify logistical issues ("What kind of
                                    internet access do you have over the course of a week?)

                                    It seems to me it is our SKILL and perspectives in using any tool
                                    that matters, not the tool itself.

                                    At 06:40 AM 12/12/2008, you wrote:
                                    >Wouldn't you agree that surveys and questionnaires are at their worst
                                    >precisely in the areas where communities of practice dwell?


                                    Nancy White | Full Circle Associates | Connecting communities online
                                    nancyw@... | +1 206 517 4754 | GMT - 8 |skype - choconancy |
                                    Twitter NancyWhite
                                    http://www.fullcirc.com/


                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  • John D. Smith
                                    Nancy, This thread started with the theme of using surveys ON communities, not BY them. So my harangue about situatedness was about it being done TO
                                    Message 17 of 21 , Dec 12, 2008
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                                      Nancy,

                                      This thread started with the theme of using surveys ON communities, not BY
                                      them. So my harangue about situatedness was about it being done TO
                                      communities. To make summative evaluations of whether people are
                                      participating enough or whether a community organizer is getting enough
                                      participation.

                                      Just to build on the ideas you threw out, communities can play a unique role
                                      in finding out about the world when they see something importan because of
                                      their collective perspective. One thing the MPD-L community did, for
                                      example, was a survey of people with myeloproliferative diseases. Since
                                      it's an "orphan disease" (e.g., not much money in it for big pharma) they
                                      took it upon themselves to gather information about ALL patient's symptoms,
                                      treatments, demographics, etc., etc. They got a survey research expert to
                                      donate a lot of time to design and then analyze the survey and they
                                      published it on their website. As patients they had a special interest in
                                      finding out about everyone out there who has the disease. They thought of
                                      it as a tool to lobby the NIH in the US to focus more research dollars on
                                      the cluster of diseases. I think it gave them a heightened sense of
                                      identity as well, so it was BY them ON them in some way, too.

                                      John
                                      *
                                      * John D. Smith ~ Voice: 503.963.8229 ~ Skype: smithjd
                                      * Portland, Oregon, USA http://www.learningAlliances.net
                                      * "Adaptability is the province of critique." - Christopher Kelty
                                    • Nancy White
                                      Ah, thanks for highlighting ON and BY. BINGO!!!! I m nodding in strong agreement. I think this is a thorn that any kind of evaluation faces. But I ll leave
                                      Message 18 of 21 , Dec 12, 2008
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                                        Ah, thanks for highlighting ON and BY. BINGO!!!! I'm nodding in
                                        strong agreement. I think this is a thorn that any kind of evaluation
                                        faces. But I'll leave that one alone for now and get some work done!

                                        At 09:47 AM 12/12/2008, you wrote:
                                        >Nancy,
                                        >
                                        >This thread started with the theme of using surveys ON communities, not BY
                                        >them. So my harangue about situatedness was about it being done TO
                                        >communities. To make summative evaluations of whether people are
                                        >participating enough or whether a community organizer is getting enough
                                        >participation.


                                        Nancy White | Full Circle Associates | Connecting communities online
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                                      • John D. Smith
                                        Matt, Tracking down that tracer study contact... Ideally, the flow of information is traced through its networking of chain-like effect from original
                                        Message 19 of 21 , Dec 26, 2008
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                                          Matt,

                                          Tracking down that tracer study contact...

                                          "Ideally, the flow of information is traced through its networking of
                                          chain-like effect from original recipients of information to others in
                                          the network or system. The use of snowball sampling is particularly
                                          appropriate in tracer studies. Snowball sampling involves the initial
                                          sampling of respondents by the probability method but the next level
                                          of respondents is obtained from information provided by initial
                                          respondents.(Heckathorn, 2002)"


                                          Heckathorn, DD. (2002) "Respondent Driven Sampling II: Deriving Valid
                                          Estimates from Hidden Populations" Social Problems, 49:11-34

                                          John
                                          *
                                          * John D. Smith ~ Voice: 503.963.8229 ~ Skype: smithjd
                                          * Portland, Oregon, USA http://www.learningAlliances.net
                                          * "Adaptability is the province of critique." — Christopher Kelty
                                        • Roy Greenhalgh
                                          John et al For those who wish to explore what network analysis can offer in this form of of study, a good starter text is John Scott s Social Network
                                          Message 20 of 21 , Dec 27, 2008
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                                            John et al

                                            For those who wish to explore what network analysis can offer in this
                                            form of of study, a good starter text is John Scott's "Social Network
                                            Analysis", 2nd edition, published by Sage in 2000. ISBN 0-7619-6339-1.
                                            And then if you are really lost for something to do over the New Year,
                                            go to www.analytictech.com/downloaduc6.htm , //
                                            download their vsn 6 software and play about with the sample data sets
                                            also provided. The best guide to using such software is downloaded from
                                            www.faculty.ucr.edu/~*hanneman*/nettext/ .

                                            Regards ..

                                            Roy Greenhalgh





                                            John D. Smith wrote:
                                            > Matt,
                                            >
                                            > Tracking down that tracer study contact...
                                            >
                                            > "Ideally, the flow of information is traced through its networking of
                                            > chain-like effect from original recipients of information to others in
                                            > the network or system. The use of snowball sampling is particularly
                                            > appropriate in tracer studies. Snowball sampling involves the initial
                                            > sampling of respondents by the probability method but the next level
                                            > of respondents is obtained from information provided by initial
                                            > respondents.(Heckathorn, 2002)"
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > Heckathorn, DD. (2002) "Respondent Driven Sampling II: Deriving Valid
                                            > Estimates from Hidden Populations" Social Problems, 49:11-34
                                            >
                                            > John
                                            > *
                                            > * John D. Smith ~ Voice: 503.963.8229 ~ Skype: smithjd
                                            > * Portland, Oregon, USA http://www.learningAlliances.net
                                            > * "Adaptability is the province of critique." — Christopher Kelty
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > ------------------------------------
                                            >
                                            > *-- The email forum on communities of practice --*Yahoo! Groups Links
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                          • pete bond
                                            I hope this will be of interest to everyone facilitating the formation of CoPs. Creating cultural spaces thro individual and collective learning is the
                                            Message 21 of 21 , Jan 16, 2009
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                                              I hope this will be of interest to everyone facilitating the formation
                                              of CoPs. 'Creating cultural spaces thro' individual and collective learning'
                                              is the third chapter in the series on using web 2.0 as a means of
                                              delivering improved enterprise/system/network/CoP performance. It's
                                              available at http://knowledgeboard.com

                                              Chapter 2 covered personal or individual learning and this chapter takes
                                              the next logical step to consider how it becomes shared and what happens
                                              when it is. What happens is quite profound, organizations form, but on
                                              further sharing an organization/CoP may grow or may be destabilised and
                                              go into terminal decline. The chapter also explores the nature and
                                              utility of theory. I remember past exchanges here about the value of
                                              theory, and in this chapter I try to explain why its creation and use,
                                              in the form of models and Learning tools, is first nature to us humans.

                                              Chapters 2 and 3, at least for me, follow the path that Lave and Wenger
                                              first took in making the connection between personal learning,
                                              particularly situated problem solving, and the formation of communities.
                                              Chapter 4 will cover community formation and development.

                                              This is a heavy theoretical chapter which draws on the work of the
                                              sociologist Anthony Giddens, Max Boisot, and Maturana and Varela,
                                              amongst others, all names which will be familiar to anyone who has read
                                              my past postings to com-prac.

                                              Comments would be very welcome, here or at the knowledgeboard.com.

                                              Peter Bond
                                              Learning Futures
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