Saturday, April 16, 2004

Building a Collaborative 

Please join us explore the capacities of two platforms: Moodle and Opencourse as environments in which to examine tools for the development of virtual communities. In this informal and participatory experience we will exchange knowledge, tools and resources leading to developing vibrant learning communities.

This pursuit aims at personal and group empowerment and in reaching a truly collaborative experience. Hence people who find meaning in exploring participatory methods, and how these asynchronous platforms (forums and wiki, to start with) serve in promoting and sustaining learning communities are urged join.

The activity is initially conceptualized to last six weeks, a long enough period for participants to create substantial dialogue and reflection. Participants will be required to respond to each week's guiding questions and to postings from at least two other participants. Each week's guiding questions will be established, and moderated by subgroups created at the beginning of the term.

For example, in week 1, participants will be introduced and expectations shared. Subgroups will be formed according to topics of interest identifyed. The structure is formed at that point.

A main operational strategy could be for each participant to present theories that they find useful in the formulation and development of collaboratives. For example, in week 2, we could deal with expected group processes as we set the stage for the production of a collaborative. Here we could review the FIRO theory developed by Schultz, as well as the structured experience format from University Associates.

In week 2 each participant can present their tools for community development and establish order for the followings 4 weeks.

Some possible topics are--
a favorite …theory
a favorite …book
a favorite …learning environment/tool
…a quote
a discussion about the rationale of inviting 3 famous people for dinner…

In weeks 3-5 each topic can be discussed by the group following the leading questions set by the assigned subgroup. Here some of the ways to present and lead could be offered. For example, in relation to the structured experience format, a mini lecture could be presented, with an experiential activity which is then brought for discussion and review in terms of relevance to larger applications. The lead group also presents 2 questions to direct discussion in the forum.

In week 6 the whole group presents summaries of their process as well as a discussion focusing on the steps to follow. The use of Moodle and opencourse will be evaluated in terms of their virtues and limitations. Recommendations will be shared about complementary applications.

These are initial thoughts about the possible content and format to follow during this collaborative effort. Your review and ideas are encouraged. Please let me know of your ability to join us.

This experience is FREE and you will receive a certificate of completion.


Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Join Us! 

In my teaching I rely on participatory methods, on the scientific method and in system's theory. With their understanding I have been able to convey varied content/subjects in classroom dialogue.

I am keen on witnessing how participatory methods translate into asynchronous settings, and especially how we can build a syllabus jointly. I am hoping that the success of participatory approaches in face-to-face interaction will translate into the asynchronous environments available here.

Needless to say, this is all new to me and I would like your help. Would you please join us at eTechCOLLAB sharing your expertise and/or knowledge. If you are unable to join for the whole duration you could be a visitor and lead a discussion. There are many ways to get involved!