Re: [xmca] What about a new kind of XMCA forum?

From: Kevin Rocap <Kevin.Rocap who-is-at>
Date: Fri Apr 20 2007 - 11:27:38 PDT

Thanks David,

Great thoughts and historical insight ;-) I appreciate it!

Possibly building on your points...we actually debated a bit in
preparing for the CHAT course last time whether to organize by
Readings/Topics only or also to create "spaces" for small groups to
perhaps interact on their own and to weave in and out of "plenary"
threads ;-) I think this is one approach that might get at issues you
raise. The XMCA community being what it is though (accustomed to the
open, overlapping conversations of the e-mail listserv) reinforced a
feeling that everyone might want to simply be in the full conversation
;-) (and at that time that was interpreted as not having a small group
options per se, but as having full-participation common Reading/Topic
threads with various folks taking the lead, and basically more on a
voluntary basis or as a credit-requirement for some participants; but
your notion of being more intentional of ways to bring more voices into
a course-shaping/engaged role is a good one, imho).

Anyway, I certainly defer to Mike and others who might be taking a lead
on this, though, like you, also being willing to contribute design
ideas. In any event, it is useful, at least to me, to dialogue a bit
about learning by "knotworking" (as you call it, hopefully not too
strongly leaning toward the phonetic connotation, and more focused on
the "knots" of participation ;-)).

These ideas, of course, I find useful also for thinking about my own
online interaction designs (on non-CHAT topics/themes), so appreciate
your comments.

In Peace,

David ES wrote:
> Dear Kevin,
> Thanks for this clear description of learning 'knotworking'--allowing
> for continuity with variations. We had a small and active discussion
> group running in the Boston area alongside the last course. Our group
> made great use of the resources and online discussion but, as I
> recall, found it challenging to loop back into the discussion in a way
> that reflected the richness of our onsite discussions and aligned with
> the forward motion of the online discussion. (This is also a big
> challenge in the in-service hybrid courses I'm working on now.)
> Maybe there's a way of having affiliated groups (whether for-credit
> course, informal small group, connected individuals) take
> responsibility for different topics/readings, opening the way with
> generative questions, guiding the process, and most important, pulling
> together a synthesis of artifacts (multimedia resources, discussion
> highlights, etc.). Anyway, I'd enjoy thinking more about designing for
> punctuated equilibria when the time comes.
> David
> Kevin Rocap wrote:
>> Dear Mike,
>> Just a little food for thought:
>> In our Teacher Ed learning networks we link existing classes/courses
>> together for key joint online-mediated activities. So each
>> participating professor/instructor and his or her class has his or
>> her own full syllabus into which the learning network activities have
>> been integrated substantively (but the local topic of the course can
>> and certainly does vary from locality to locality, so that even
>> though the learning network activities are somehow shared activities,
>> the perspective or point of reference and entrance into interaction
>> with others stems from the local topic/course).
>> For example, our online network "Knowing Our Students, Knowing
>> Ourselves" provides prompts and activities for a variety of ways in
>> which future teachers need to "know themselves" and "know their
>> future students" - but these prompts and activities can be as
>> relevant for a methods course as it is for a foundations course or a
>> content course and so has relevance for incorporation into courses
>> that cover varying topics. The variation can lead to engaging
>> exchanges as each participating class engages from its particular
>> vantage point regarding what it means to know themselves and know
>> their future students in the context of their local topic.
>> Last time we ran the CHAT course internationally, of course, we had
>> many individuals and/or non-university-affiliated small groups who
>> wanted to participate. These could be folks who do or do not want to
>> participate for credit, but are not under the umbrella of one of the
>> existing courses such as my examples above. In that case, it seems
>> to me that any professor whose full-course is participating in the
>> CHAT exchange that has a mechanism for granting credits could make
>> their course and syllabus known to the wider participating CHAT
>> community so that community members might be able to find a course to
>> affiliate with that makes sense for their own educational,
>> professional, personal trajectory, but also permits them to
>> participate in the CHAT exchanges (he/she would, of course, also have
>> to fulfill any additional requirements of such a course beyond
>> participation in the CHAT exchanges to qualify for credit).
>> The other occurrence in learning networks we've facilitated and that
>> occurred in our last CHAT course experience was that individuals or
>> groups identify each other and form their own local book or study
>> groups. When I queried about that during the last course it seemed
>> several people were making use of the online content and exchanges to
>> engage in local face-to-face discussions and activities (e.g.,
>> printing out copies of comments from the online and using these as
>> additional texts in book/study group discussions, etc.).
>> It also seemed to work well last time to have graduate students
>> and/or other key participants take some sort of
>> discussion/prompt/question-generating lead on a given reading or
>> topic at different times in the exchange.
>> Anyway, a short re-cap and some additional ideas to stir around in
>> the pot as options for the once and future CHAT exchange ;-)
>> In Peace,
>> K.
>> Mike Cole wrote:

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Received on Fri Apr 20 12:41 PDT 2007

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