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CoPs in definitions

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  • Elizabeth Hanson-Smith
    Daf and all-- I think some of the characteristics of CoPs in Pallof & Pratt are right on, esp, several on their mini-list. I think WebHeads doesn t fit in most
    Message 1 of 12 , Jan 29, 2003
      Daf and all--
      I think some of the characteristics of CoPs in
      Pallof & Pratt are right on, esp, several on their
      mini-list.
      I think WebHeads doesn't fit in most definitions in
      that it is less student-teacher than peer-peer
      interactions. We all take turns gladly learning and
      teaching, to paraphrase Chaucer.
      Another difference is that our content/curriculum is
      not clearly defined. We make up our "curriculum" as
      new projects, new technologies, and new bits of
      learning present themselves. Possibly this is also a
      result of tech environment, which is in change around
      us.
      And finally, we don't necessarily agree about
      everything, but are (unusually for an e-list or
      e-group) willing to leave some issues open, e.g., to
      learn HTML or not as a good idea. Our intention is not
      so much to achieve agreement (which implies there is
      only one final answer) as to explore.
      --Elizabeth

      Dafne wrote:
      >>
      I found in a book (in Crhis' bibliography) some
      characteristics of
      CoP's
      Pallof, R., & Pratt, K. (1999). Building learning
      communities in
      cyberspace. Effective Strategies for the online
      classroom. San Francisco, CA:
      Jossey-Bass Publishers.
      "some of the desired outcomes, then, indicating that
      an online
      community has been forming, are as follows:
      Active interaction involving both course content
      and personal
      communication.
      Collaborative learning evidenced by comments
      directed primarily
      student to student rather than student to instructor.
      Socially constructed meaning evidenced in the
      agreement or
      questioning, with the intent to achieve agreement on
      issues of meaning.
      Sharing of resources among students.
      Expressions of support and encouragement exchanged
      between students,
      as well as willingness to critically evaluate the work
      of others.

      It is certainly possible, in this environment, to
      foster the
      development of a community wherein very little
      learning occurs but strong
      social connections exist among members. It is for this
      reason, among
      others, that the instructor needs to remain actively
      engaged in the process
      in order to gently guide participants who stray; they
      must be coaxed
      back to the learning goals that brought them together
      in the first place.
      It is the development of a strong learning community
      and not just a
      social community that is the distinguishing feature of
      computer mediated
      distance learning " (p. 32).

      What do you all think about this?

      Dafne

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    • Aiden Yeh
      Elizabeth wrote: I think WebHeads doesn t fit in most definitions in that it is less student-teacher than peer-peer interactions. ____________ Based on this
      Message 2 of 12 , Jan 29, 2003
        Elizabeth wrote: I think WebHeads doesn't fit in most definitions in that it is less student-teacher than peer-peer
        interactions.

        ____________

        Based on this given definition, can we consider or classify EFIWebheads a CoP?

        Aiden Yeh



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        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Vance Stevens
        ... I am not able to put my hand on a copy of Pallof, R., & Pratt, K. (1999). Building learning communities in cyberspace. Effective Strategies for the online
        Message 3 of 12 , Jan 30, 2003
          > Elizabeth wrote: Daf and all--
          > I think some of the characteristics of CoPs in Pallof & Pratt are right on, esp, several on their mini-list.
          >
          > I think WebHeads doesn't fit in most definitions in that it is less student-teacher than peer-peer interactions .. Another difference is that our content/curriculum is not clearly defined. We make up our "curriculum" as new projects, new technologies, and new bits of learning present themselves.

          > Based on this given definition, can we consider or classify EFIWebheads a CoP?
          > Aiden Yeh

          I am not able to put my hand on a copy of Pallof, R., & Pratt, K. (1999). Building learning communities in cyberspace. Effective Strategies for the online classroom. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers, but the scope of their work appears to be on building community, not necessarily communities of practice. Also, their distinction between students and teachers assumes a hierarchical educational context which runs counter to the idea of a community whose members tend to value equally the work of one another (so ideally you couldn't tell who was the teacher, and who the student).

          But in answering the question based on what I know of their work, I would say yes, W4W (Writing for Webheads) is a CoP though less so than WIA which was set up specifically to enable peers to engage in the kind of experimentation with community bldg via CMC that W4W had evolved, but W4W was the original CoP that provided WIA with its inspiration (and many W4W members have moved into WIA and are still involved in both groups).

          Here is a place where I took time to document how W4W started, as early as June 1999, to bootstrap its members into just one aspect of its many practices, in this case the use of video as a CMC tool to promote community building ...

          http://sites.hsprofessional.com/vstevens/files/efi/vcommunity.htm#video

          In Pallof & Pratt terms, this might be an example of "active interaction involving both course content and personal communication" and "collaborative learning evidenced by comments directed primarily student to student rather than student to instructor" (because this student-instructor distinction has started to disappear; in fact, in these examples, Felix, supposedly a student, takes the lead in inspiring the 'instructors').

          You can also find evidence of Webheads involvement in international conferences and other academic pursuits here:

          http://sites.hsprofessional.com/vstevens/files/efi/reports.htm

          Conference participation would be in Pallof and Pratt terms "socially constructed meaning evidenced in the agreement or

          questioning, with the intent to achieve agreement on issues of meaning" and "expressions of support and encouragement exchanged between students, as well as willingness to critically evaluate the work of others." (Evaluation occurs when you put your work on center stage at a conference.)

          W4W has been a live training ground for practitioners. Webheads teachers and students have always lived in symbiotic relation to one another. In this environment the students have been able to develop their language skills through interaction with one another and with native speakers while the practitioners among us have been able to develop skills in our practice of community building through the medium of CMC. Both stakeholders have benefited, as suggested by the fact that there are many long-term members (over 4 years for several students and teachers; and assuming that people who are not benefiting would have long ago turned off the deluge of emails).

          Vance
        • Arlyn Freed
          Hi all, First I d like to say I m really enjoying this discussion (and learning a lot), and the citations add an additional element of resource and education.
          Message 4 of 12 , Jan 30, 2003
            Hi all,

            First I'd like to say I'm really enjoying this
            discussion (and learning a lot), and the citations add
            an additional element of resource and education.

            If I recall, my first posting to Vance last year
            questioned his "welcome to the community" statement; I
            was very skeptical that a group of strangers could
            form any type of connection that would pass for a real
            community. Having experienced both general chat rooms
            (which I quickly dismissed as unproductive), and the
            TESL-list, I decided that these groups added
            information to a general pool and little more
            occurred. Certainly the TESL-list is a great
            resource, but postings of a personal nature are
            strongly discouraged.

            Vance informed me that EV_Webheads (now known to me as
            WiA) was indeed a community, a statement that was
            later reinforced by the groups members simply via
            their level of communication.

            The amount of information (technical, educational, and
            anecdotal) is sometimes staggering but the warmth WiA
            members express for each other, regardless of a
            members' level of participation, is truly remarkable.
            This list, in my opinion, feels more like a "coffee
            clache" with (some very notable!) peers.

            I would have to agree with Elizabeth, both in finding
            validity in Pallof & Pratt's definition and in her own
            assessment that WiA doesn't really fit all the
            definitions. This is perhaps a reflection of the
            technology used by the group; webcams and voice chat
            certainly allow for a more personal touch. But I
            would add that, in my opinion (excuse me, "IMHO" for
            chatters) a large part of who we are is due to the
            "tone" set by WiA's creator, Vance Stevens.

            Pallof and Pratt (1999) note that "the instructor
            needs to remain actively engaged in the process in
            order to gently guide participants who stray; they
            must be coaxed back to the learning goals that brought
            them together in the first place". I suggest the
            writers re-evaluate their definition based on WiA's
            CoP (or at least add an addendum); WiA members are not
            'reined in', except by other members (e.g., rules of
            list netiquette) and Vance encourages list
            participants to assume moderator responsibilities.
            Perhaps WiA's community is different because its
            participants are educators and teachers? I don't know
            that "CoP"s can ever really be defined, as like so
            many other things, it seems to redefine itself daily.
            I only know that I'm happy I discovered this group, as
            it has completely altered my perceptions of a
            professional "virtual community".

            All the best,
            Arlyn

            Date: Wed, 29 Jan 2003 19:40:48 -0800 (PST)
            From: Elizabeth Hanson-Smith <ehansonsmi@...>
            Subject: CoPs in definitions

            Daf and all--
            I think some of the characteristics of CoPs in
            Pallof & Pratt are right on, esp, several on their
            mini-list.
            I think WebHeads doesn't fit in most definitions in
            that it is less student-teacher than peer-peer
            interactions. We all take turns gladly learning and
            teaching, to paraphrase Chaucer.
            Another difference is that our content/curriculum is
            not clearly defined. We make up our "curriculum" as
            new projects, new technologies, and new bits of
            learning present themselves. Possibly this is also a
            result of tech environment, which is in change around
            us.
            And finally, we don't necessarily agree about
            everything, but are (unusually for an e-list or
            e-group) willing to leave some issues open, e.g., to
            learn HTML or not as a good idea. Our intention is not
            so much to achieve agreement (which implies there is
            only one final answer) as to explore.
            --Elizabeth

            Dafne wrote:
            >>
            I found in a book (in Crhis' bibliography) some
            characteristics of
            CoP's
            Pallof, R., & Pratt, K. (1999). Building learning
            communities in
            cyberspace. Effective Strategies for the online
            classroom. San Francisco, CA:
            Jossey-Bass Publishers.
            "some of the desired outcomes, then, indicating that
            an online
            community has been forming, are as follows:
            Active interaction involving both course content
            and personal
            communication.
            Collaborative learning evidenced by comments
            directed primarily
            student to student rather than student to instructor.
            Socially constructed meaning evidenced in the
            agreement or
            questioning, with the intent to achieve agreement on
            issues of meaning.
            Sharing of resources among students.
            Expressions of support and encouragement exchanged
            between students,
            as well as willingness to critically evaluate the work
            of others.

            It is certainly possible, in this environment, to
            foster the
            development of a community wherein very little
            learning occurs but strong
            social connections exist among members. It is for this
            reason, among
            others, that the instructor needs to remain actively
            engaged in the process
            in order to gently guide participants who stray; they
            must be coaxed
            back to the learning goals that brought them together
            in the first place.
            It is the development of a strong learning community
            and not just a
            social community that is the distinguishing feature of
            computer mediated
            distance learning " (p. 32).

            What do you all think about this?

            Dafne

            =====
            Your new home for ESL...http://www.eslhome.com

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          • beatriz chelle
            Wow! It’s my first time in a CoP and this is an incredible experience. I read all your postings and some of the reference material you recommended, also
            Message 5 of 12 , Jan 30, 2003
              Wow! It’s my first time in a CoP and this is an incredible experience.
              I read all your postings and some of the reference material you recommended,
              also some personal messages I have been receiving.
              The words Community of Practice imply, of course working on something which
              was agreed upon by all the members of the community, in this sense I suppose
              goal oriented.

              Secondly, the idea of community implies feeling you “belong” to such group,
              that is, “to feel happy and comfortable in a place or situation because you
              have the same interests and ideas as other people” (Longman Dictionary).

              IMHO, I think in this group there’s not just “practice” and learning –and
              there’s much!- but in my case, an absolute newcomer and not experienced
              “webhead”, plus NN, have been receiving lots of support and warm welcome
              feedback from you.

              Also, the professional way in which all contributions are considered,
              motivated me to participate because I feel that even my modest contribution
              “counts”. This is very important to foster collaborative work. On the
              other hand, allowing people to lurk , not forcing the members to participate
              actively, is something I suppose means respect for each one’s pace , style,
              personality. Following the discussion is also an active way of
              participating, many times people need to feel a supporting atmosphere to
              open themselves up. Like our students.

              Maybe I’m too Latin too!

              Un saludo desde Uruguay

              Beatriz



              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Dafne <dygonza@yahoo.com>
              Dear Beatriz, While I was reading your message I had an inner contentment; and what happens is that when someone says something good about Webheads you feel
              Message 6 of 12 , Jan 31, 2003
                Dear Beatriz,

                While I was reading your message I had an inner contentment; and what
                happens is that when someone says something good about Webheads you
                feel that they are saying it about you, likewise, when one of us
                accomplishes an objective, no matter how difficult or easy it is, we
                feel proud of that person, and that person, I am sure because I have
                felt it, feels that the group is in a high way responsible for that
                accomplishment.
                So, this feeling of belonging that you mention as being a
                characteristic of CoP's, is the "glue" that keeps us together and
                going.

                It feels good to know that you feel comfortable with us :-)

                Hugs,
                Dafne (from Venezuela in Spain)

                ]
              • rusiko datunaishvili
                Dear Don Carol, I d like to register for the online sessions, but now I m at a loss. It s not quite clear for me whether they are free or not. If I have to pay
                Message 7 of 12 , Jan 31, 2003
                  Dear Don Carol,

                  I'd like to register for the online sessions, but now
                  I'm at a loss. It's not quite clear for me whether
                  they are free or not. If I have to pay for them then I
                  cancell my registration.

                  I'm so sorry for bothering you but please don't get
                  surprized as I come from totally different country,
                  different system, and sometimes it's very difficult to
                  understand elementary things for former soviet system
                  countries.
                  Sorry again,
                  Thank you for your time, and I will be very thankful
                  if you help me to find out the situation.

                  Sincerely, Rusudan from Georgia.
                  --- Don Carroll <dcarroll@...> wrote:
                  > Beatiz,
                  >
                  > >Maybe I'm too Latin too!
                  >
                  > To paraphrase an old saying: "You can never be too
                  > rich, too thin, or TOO
                  > LATIN!!!"
                  >
                  > Saludos desde Japon.
                  >
                  > --Don
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been
                  > removed]
                  >
                  >


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                • rusiko datunaishvili
                  ... __________________________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? Yahoo! Mail Plus - Powerful. Affordable. Sign up now. http://mailplus.yahoo.com
                  Message 8 of 12 , Jan 31, 2003
                    --- rusiko datunaishvili <ruenico@...> wrote:
                    > Dear Don Carol,
                    >
                    > I'd like to register for the online sessions, but
                    > now
                    > I'm at a loss. It's not quite clear for me whether
                    > they are free or not. If I have to pay for them then
                    > I
                    > cancell my registration.
                    >
                    > I'm so sorry for bothering you but please don't get
                    > surprized as I come from totally different country,
                    > different system, and sometimes it's very difficult
                    > to
                    > understand elementary things for former soviet
                    > system
                    > countries.
                    > Sorry again,
                    > Thank you for your time, and I will be very thankful
                    > if you help me to find out the situation.
                    >
                    > Sincerely, Rusudan from Georgia.


                    __________________________________________________
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                    Yahoo! Mail Plus - Powerful. Affordable. Sign up now.
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                  • Don Carroll <dcarroll@sg-u.ac.jp>
                    Dear Rusudan (is this your first name?), Have no fears! Welcome to Webheads in Action (WIA) which is the informal name for the evonline2002_webheads group.
                    Message 9 of 12 , Jan 31, 2003
                      Dear Rusudan (is this your first name?),

                      Have no fears! Welcome to Webheads in Action (WIA) which is the
                      informal name for the evonline2002_webheads group. Belonging to this
                      group is completely free! We are happy to have you in our group.

                      Where in Georgia are you from? What do you do? Many of the members
                      of this group are teachers -- some are also students -- some like me
                      are both teachers AND students. Are you also a teacher? As for me,
                      I teach English and linguistics at a univeristy in Japan. I've never
                      been to Georgia but I did have a chance to visit Russia (both just
                      before, 1991, and just after, 1993, the soviet breakup) and met many
                      Georgians up in Moscow.

                      Please tell us a little about yourself. You will find that we are a
                      very friendly group.

                      Cheers,

                      --Don


                      --- In evonline2002_webheads@yahoogroups.com, rusiko datunaishvili
                      <ruenico@y...> wrote:
                      > Dear Don Carol,
                      >
                      > I'd like to register for the online sessions, but now
                      > I'm at a loss. It's not quite clear for me whether
                      > they are free or not. If I have to pay for them then I
                      > cancell my registration.
                      >
                      > I'm so sorry for bothering you but please don't get
                      > surprized as I come from totally different country,
                      > different system, and sometimes it's very difficult to
                      > understand elementary things for former soviet system
                      > countries.
                      > Sorry again,
                      > Thank you for your time, and I will be very thankful
                      > if you help me to find out the situation.
                      >
                      > Sincerely, Rusudan from Georgia.
                      > --- Don Carroll <dcarroll@s...> wrote:
                      > > Beatiz,
                      > >
                      > > >Maybe I'm too Latin too!
                      > >
                      > > To paraphrase an old saying: "You can never be too
                      > > rich, too thin, or TOO
                      > > LATIN!!!"
                      > >
                      > > Saludos desde Japon.
                      > >
                      > > --Don
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > [Non-text portions of this message have been
                      > > removed]
                      > >
                      > >
                      >
                      >
                      > __________________________________________________
                      > Do you Yahoo!?
                      > Yahoo! Mail Plus - Powerful. Affordable. Sign up now.
                      > http://mailplus.yahoo.com
                    • Don Carroll
                      Beatiz, ... To paraphrase an old saying: You can never be too rich, too thin, or TOO LATIN!!! Saludos desde Japon. --Don [Non-text portions of this message
                      Message 10 of 12 , Jan 31, 2003
                        Beatiz,

                        >Maybe I'm too Latin too!

                        To paraphrase an old saying: "You can never be too rich, too thin, or TOO
                        LATIN!!!"

                        Saludos desde Japon.

                        --Don



                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • cbauer-ramazani@smcvt.edu
                        Dear Rusudan, As I mentioned in my separate email to you, the sessions are free. Welcome to the group and enjoy the discussions. Christine ... From: rusiko
                        Message 11 of 12 , Jan 31, 2003
                          Dear Rusudan,
                          As I mentioned in my separate email to you, the sessions are free. Welcome
                          to the group and enjoy the discussions.
                          Christine

                          -----Original Message-----
                          From: rusiko datunaishvili [mailto:ruenico@...]
                          Sent: Friday, January 31, 2003 8:23 AM
                          To: evonline2002_webheads@yahoogroups.com
                          Subject: RE: [evonline2002_webheads] Viva WIA



                          --- rusiko datunaishvili <ruenico@...> wrote:
                          > Dear Don Carol,
                          >
                          > I'd like to register for the online sessions, but
                          > now
                          > I'm at a loss. It's not quite clear for me whether
                          > they are free or not. If I have to pay for them then
                          > I
                          > cancell my registration.
                          >
                          > I'm so sorry for bothering you but please don't get
                          > surprized as I come from totally different country,
                          > different system, and sometimes it's very difficult
                          > to
                          > understand elementary things for former soviet
                          > system
                          > countries.
                          > Sorry again,
                          > Thank you for your time, and I will be very thankful
                          > if you help me to find out the situation.
                          >
                          > Sincerely, Rusudan from Georgia.


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                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • J. H. Steele
                          Dear Rusuday, I d like to also extend my welcome to you. The only think you really need to become a member is an interest in learning and communicating with
                          Message 12 of 12 , Feb 1, 2003
                            Dear Rusuday,

                            I'd like to also extend my welcome to you. The only think you really need
                            to become a member is an interest in learning and communicating with
                            others. I'm sure Vance (our cat-herder) will also send his welcome soon,

                            I've never been to Georgia myself, but when I was studying my MA, I had two
                            professors from there. One was one of my linguistics professor and the
                            other (his wife) was one of my literature professors.

                            Dr. Cat


                            Prof. John H. Steele, Ph.D.
                            Department of English
                            University of Puerto Rico at Aguadilla

                            jhsteele@...
                            http://www.eslpalace.com


                            At 06:34 PM 1/31/2003 +0000, Don Carroll <dcarroll@...> wrote:
                            >Dear Rusudan (is this your first name?),
                            >
                            >Have no fears! Welcome to Webheads in Action (WIA) which is the
                            >informal name for the evonline2002_webheads group. Belonging to this
                            >group is completely free! We are happy to have you in our group.
                            >
                            >Where in Georgia are you from? What do you do? Many of the members
                            >of this group are teachers -- some are also students -- some like me
                            >are both teachers AND students. Are you also a teacher? As for me,
                            >I teach English and linguistics at a univeristy in Japan. I've never
                            >been to Georgia but I did have a chance to visit Russia (both just
                            >before, 1991, and just after, 1993, the soviet breakup) and met many
                            >Georgians up in Moscow.
                            >
                            >Please tell us a little about yourself. You will find that we are a
                            >very friendly group.
                            >
                            >Cheers,
                            >
                            >--Don
                            >
                            >
                            >--- In evonline2002_webheads@yahoogroups.com, rusiko datunaishvili
                            ><ruenico@y...> wrote:
                            > > Dear Don Carol,
                            > >
                            > > I'd like to register for the online sessions, but now
                            > > I'm at a loss. It's not quite clear for me whether
                            > > they are free or not. If I have to pay for them then I
                            > > cancell my registration.
                            > >
                            > > I'm so sorry for bothering you but please don't get
                            > > surprized as I come from totally different country,
                            > > different system, and sometimes it's very difficult to
                            > > understand elementary things for former soviet system
                            > > countries.
                            > > Sorry again,
                            > > Thank you for your time, and I will be very thankful
                            > > if you help me to find out the situation.
                            > >
                            > > Sincerely, Rusudan from Georgia.
                            > > --- Don Carroll <dcarroll@s...> wrote:
                            > > > Beatiz,
                            > > >
                            > > > >Maybe I'm too Latin too!
                            > > >
                            > > > To paraphrase an old saying: "You can never be too
                            > > > rich, too thin, or TOO
                            > > > LATIN!!!"
                            > > >
                            > > > Saludos desde Japon.
                            > > >
                            > > > --Don
                            > > >
                            > > >
                            > > >
                            > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been
                            > > > removed]
                            > > >
                            > > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            > > __________________________________________________
                            > > Do you Yahoo!?
                            > > Yahoo! Mail Plus - Powerful. Affordable. Sign up now.
                            > > http://mailplus.yahoo.com
                            >
                            >
                            >To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
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                            >
                            >For more information:
                            >http://www.geocities.com/vance_stevens/papers/evonline2002/webheads.htm
                            >
                            >When replying to postings, please delete this footer and any other
                            >extraneous text from the reply - Thanks!!
                            >
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