week 2 wrap-up - ideas on Chris Johnson's graphic
- Hello, Webheads!
First of all, Chris Johnson, congratulations and thanks on yet another great
and very helpful
diagram on Cop theory. When you can sort out and simplify things to this
point, it means
you're very knowledgeable in your topic. If I were doing it, the only thing
I'd replace is the reptiles. ;-)
I hate them! They're disgusting to me! They get on my nervous system.
The message below from Chris Jones asking us to sort of wrap up our ideas on
basic features of CoPs can certainly help shed a lot more light into what we
think about all this.
First of all, I have to say that this week's postings have been extremely
insightful and inspiring,
but the level of the flow of ideas has not allowed me to keep up with
I'll need a lot more time to 'digest' and process all the interesting ideas
that have come up. One thing I have concluded: most of us have our own great
ideas (and doubts) and they don't necessarily have to agree
with the ideas of the so-called gurus (lack a better word at this time) on
Next, here are a couple of lose and general ideas I have on week 2 topics:
-- regarding the definition of CoP, the first and most basic example I can
think of is the 'family'. Going on from here, according to some of the
authors, I guess most anything can be a CoP considering we
'accept' that a list that exchanges two messages a year is a CoP (according
to one of the authors, I forget the name)! I do not buy this idea, either;
-- it seems to me that a CoP can have a general and broader definition as
well as a specific and more concrete one. I personally feel we need to
narrow things down quite a bit.
Most of the (short and simple) readings I did this week deal with corporate
CoPs and we're dealing with CoPs at the educational level. I think there are
differences, especially in the goals and aims, and in the way they
may/should be managed, but I won't go into that.
Now, to get to the points that Chris Jones refers using very practical
1. examples of practice
-- our weekly TI sessions;
-- TI special sessions (Carnival 2002 and Summer Carnival 2002);
-- several online events we have participated in (take a look at the WiA
all extremely well documented by Vance in his never-ending Web pages (it
isn't easy to keep track of everything!) and later on with the help of other
community members. There are numerous examples of artifacts, community and
implicit knowledge, stories and collaboration in these pages;
2. movement to expertise
-- we started out as an 8-week training program coordinated by our 'one and
only' Vance Stevens and then turned into an ongoing project; later, we
started referring to our community as a CoP (basically, I think, after Chris
Johnson referred his diss. project of a case study of our community); out of
this evolution and practice came this year's training program titled
"Communities of practice online: Reflection through experience and
experiment with the Webheads community of language learners and
practitioners" in which e-moderation for most weeks has been handed over to
people who started out as novices last year; our 'reflections' will be
presented at TESOL 2003;
-- related to the previous item, Vancehas always welcomed 'decentralizing'
tasks and roles;
-- we welcome and have always welcomed) 'newcomers'; several have joined us
for this year's round of training and are feeling 'at home' with us;
-- there is a constant 'come and go' of experts, boundary members and
novices: more adept members in certain areas take the stand, so to say, in a
natural at times and for different reasons, some very active members also
fade into the
background and then come back into the limelight (so to say);
3. role of reflection
-- the best example is our training program for this year and our upcoming
presentation in Baltimore; though we've been reflecting on our practice all
along the past year, this is a crucial phase in that process and a great
time to examine 'good' practices;
4. social scaffolding
-- Chris Johnson said that it is a "confusing and broad term" and I second
that. He defines it as "the difference between what an individual can learn
on their own vs. what they can learn with an expert, guide, teacher, and/or,
in the case of CoPs and situated learning, peers";
-- I see it as implying knowledge acquired through negotiated meaning
(that goes on at all times in our comunity allowing us to understand and
sort out ideas),
facilitation, trust and a sense of belonging, all fundamental ingredients of
and 'good practices';
5. rotating leadership
-- the first example that comes to mind is Team Blackboard
-- different moderators in our training program this year (EVOnline2003), an
that came hand-in-hand with his suggestion of a panel for TESOL 2003.
6. knowledge domain (in our specific case):
-- I see it as ESL/EFL in broad terms and in narrower terms as community
and the use of (a)synch communication tools and their role in language
-- it is my impression that the kd is defined at the outset by the
moderator, coordinator or
facilitator of the CoP and consists of the areas that to be dealt with in
the discussion and practice.
I would love to carry on, but time is short and I do have to be ready for
week 3 as of tomorrow
(or else mr 'you know who' may get angry! ;-)
I'm sure we will all have a lot more to say in week 4. I'm really looking
forward to it!
Chris Jones, ChristineBR and John Steele, thank you for a great week! Great
> . . .
> A related part of the assignment for this week is to
> find concrete examples of each attribute in Chris
> Johnson's graphic representation either in existing
> CoPs that you are involved in or in your ideal CoP.
> (Chris' graphic is at
> http://sites.inka.de/manzanita/cop/sitemap.htm) More
> specifically, using a CoP you participate in, are
> familiar with, or consider ideal,
> 1. provide specific examples of Practice, including
> artifacts, community and implicit knowledge, stories,
> and collaboration
> 2. in reference to Community, there has already been
> a lot of discussion about this area, especially
> novices, boundary practice, and experts. Perhaps we
> could focus more on the movement to expertise and the
> role of reflection, social scaffolding, rotating
> leadership, rotating leadership, negotiated meaning,
> facilitation, and trust.
> 3. give specific examples of the Knowledge Domain.
> What does it consist of? How do members access it?
> Chris Jones
- Hi, Tere,
Thanks for putting so much time into this when I can
see that you're busy getting week 3 off to a great
start! It's especially nice as there have only been a
couple people who've taken the time to write about
this so far.
--- Teresa Almeida d'Eca <tmvaz@...>
> Hello, Webheads!__________________________________________________
> First of all, Chris Johnson, congratulations and
> thanks on yet another great
> and very helpful
> diagram on Cop theory. When you can sort out and
> simplify things to this
> point, it means
> you're very knowledgeable in your topic.
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