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Understanding and Participation in Communities of Learners

Keynote JURE 2012 Conference Regensburg, 23 July 2012
by Jos Beishuizen on 28 October 2012

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Transcript of Understanding and Participation in Communities of Learners

5. Understanding, Participation,
Knowledge Building 4. Methodological Issues 6. Future Research 1. Three Community Concepts 3. Empirical Evidence 2. Examples Understanding and Participation
in Communities of Learners Jos Beishuizen
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Dept. of Research and Theory in Education Concept developed by Brown & Campione (1996)

Six criteria by Beishuizen (2008) Community of Learners Concept developed by Lave & Wenger (1991), Wenger (1998) Community of Practice In an environment that is supportive intellectually and socially, and with the guidance of a knowledgeable instructor, students will engage in meaningful discourse and develop personal and lasting understandings of course topics. Community of Inquiry 1. Students are considered as serious partners in the process of knowledge building.
2. Students and teachers collaborate to answer questions according to the method of inquiry learning.
3. The questions addressed clarify the big ideas of the domain of research.
4. Students are immersed in a culture of scientific research, in which they learn to work with research methods, rules for collaboration and scientific communication.
5. Students learn to reflect on their work to become aware of the applied methods and rules in the culture of scientific research, to build principles and schemas on the basis of concrete research experience and to question the value of the research project for science and society.
6. Students get access to resources and equipment to conduct research projects. Beishuizen, J. J. (2008). Does a community of learners foster self-regulated learning? Technology, Pedagogy and Education, 17(3), 183-193. doi:10.1080/14759390802383769
Brown, A. L., & Campione, J. C. (1996). Psychological theory and the design of innovative learning environments. In L. Schauble & R. Glaser (Eds.), Innovations in learning; new environments for education (pp. 289-326). Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Lave, J., & Wenger, E. (1991). Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of practice: Learning, meaning, and identity. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.
Wenger, E., McDermott, R. A., & Snyder, W. (2002). Cultivating communities of practice: A guide to managing knowledge. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Press. In a Community of Practice participants are mutually engaged to realize a joint enterprise based on a shared repertoire (Wenger, 1998). 1. Sustained mutual relationships – harmonious or conflictual
2. Shared ways of engaging in doing things together
3. The rapid flow of information and propagation of innovation
4. Absence of introductory preambles, as if conversations and interactions were merely the continuation of an ongoing process
5. Very quick setup of a problem to be discussed
6. Substantial overlap in participants' descriptions of who belongs
7. Knowing what others know, what they can do, and how they can contribute to an enterprise
8. Mutually defining identities
12. Jargon and shortcuts to communication as well as the ease of producing new ones
13. Certain styles recognized as displaying membership
14. A shared discourse reflecting a certain perspective on the world 4. Absence of introductory preambles, as if conversations and interactions were merely the continuation of an ongoing process
5. Very quick setup of a problem to be discussed
7. Knowing what others know, what they can do, and how they can contribute to an enterprise
9. The ability to assess the appropriateness of actions and products
10. Specific tools, representations, and other artefacts
11. Local lore, shared stories, inside jokes, knowing laughter
12. Jargon and shortcuts to communication as well as the ease of producing new ones 2. Shared ways of engaging in doing things together
7. Knowing what others know, what they can do, and how they can contribute to an enterprise Mutual Engagement Joint Enterprise Shared Repertoire Participants in a Community of Inquiry present themselves als real people, by showing personal characteristics

Three types of communicative action in a computer conference: emotional, cohesive, and open. Social Presence Cognitive Presence Teaching Presence Participants in a Community of Inquiry construct meaning through sustained communication

Four types of discourse: triggering events, exploration, integration, and resolution. Instructors in a Community of Inquiry are responsible for
a) instructional design,
b) discourse facilitation, and
c) direct instruction. Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T., & Archer, W. (1999). Critical Inquiry in a Text-Based Environment: Computer Conferencing in Higher Education. The Internet and Higher Education, 2(2–3), 87-105.
Rourke, L., & Kanuka, H. (2009). Learning in communities of inquiry: A review of the literature. Journal of Distance Education, 23(1), 19-48. Studying
Communities of Learners The Sparkling School Research Questions Method Outcomes Discussion 1. Design implemented?
Characteristics Community of Learners realized?
Role of teachers, students, researchers, teacher educators? 2. Effects of implemented design?
- Knowledge
- Research Skills?
- Expectancy?
- Research Interest?
- Motivation to Collaborate? Interviews with Students, Teachers, Researchers
Questionnaire for Students and Teachers
Video observations 2. Design implemented? 2. Effects established? Knowledge tests
Attitude questionnaires
Interviews with students
Video observations 1. Design implemented? 2. Knowledge improved? 3. Attitude improved? 1. Design implemented? 2. Effects established? Community of Learners is a reality Improvements in domain knowledge, research skills and interest in research. Studying Communities of Practice Leadership and Community Development in School-University Partnerships Inne Vandyck
Utrecht University
i.vandyck@uu.nl Aim Issues and Concerns Research Question Results Discussion Study the relationship between transformational leadership and community development in a school-university partnership School-university partnerships:
shared responsibility for educating teachers Students spend 80% of the time in teacher education institute and 20% in school Community Development School-University Partnerships Teacher education institute: development of knowledge and skills School: development of competencies Challenge:
Collaboration between teacher education institute and school, integration making the whole more than the sum of its parts Student Teacher Communities:
Student teachers in groups with mentor teacher Mentor Teacher: sometimes appointed by teacher education institute, sometimes by school Aims of Student Teachers Community:
Sharing experiences and completing assignments Community Development Mentor Teacher Leadership School-University Partnerships Three Core Features:
1. Group Identity: Mutual engagement that binds6 teachers together in a social entity
2. Shared domain and goals: Joint enterprise as understood and continually negotiated by its members
3. Interactional Repertoire: Shared practice of and beliefs on how teachers in a group interact 1. Transformational versus Transactional Leadership
2. Transformation leadership fosters community development through maximizing human capacity Transformational Leadership

Idealized influence
Inspirational motivation
Individual consideration
Intellectual stimulation Transactional Leadership

Contingent reinforcement
Active management by exception
Passive management by exception Leadership organized in a non-distributed hierarchical way One formal leader appointed by school or teachers education institute How are transformational and transactional leadership activities related to the development of a community in a school-university partnership? Rick de Graaff
Albert Pilot
Utrecht University Jos Beishuizen
VU University Amsterdam The Netherlands Transformational leadership does not necessarily strengthen student teachers communities
Transformational leadership enhances shared interactional repertoire
Supplementary transactional activities when conflict arises
Limitations Challenge:
Leadership of Mentor Teacher Teacher Community:
Group of teachers with a group identity, shared domain and goals, and shared interactional repertoire, in which teachers are socially interdependent, who participate together in discussion and decision making, and share and build knowledge
Admiraal, Lockhorst, & Van der Pol Three Stages:
Limited, Moderate, Strong Group Identity Identification, mutual trust and responsibility, social ties, emotional safety, sense of collectivism Shared Domain Commitment to domain, common ground, collective goal, shared knowledge Shared Interactional Repertoire Intellectual binding, regulation of interaction, role taking, dynamic effort, dynamic position, interactional norms Core Feature Indicator Community A Community B No "we" voice
Conflict, no intervention by leader
From open to formal From "I" to "we"
Increase in perspectives
Friendly atmosphere
Empathy Increase in debate
Increasing common goals during theme meetings Constructive arguments
Leader regulated interaction
Guest speakers opened horizons = Increasing angagement with group tasks
Increase in debate
From individual learning to group learning Leader in charge throughout project
No changes in roles
Efforts controlled by leader Transformational Transactional


Idealized influence
Inspirational motivation
Individual consideration
Intellectual stimulation


Contingent reinforcement
Active management by exception
Passive management by exception Leader A Often referred to mission of the group
Emphasized reflection skills
Interest in students concerns and emotions
Each meeting: personal feedback
Guest speakers Rewarded contributions to discussion
Corrected departures from subject
No intervention during conflict Gave feedback
Appreciated feelings and emotions Rewarded when expectations were met
Rewarded contributions to assignments
Corrected departures from tasks Leader B Transactional Leadership Transformational Leadership Shared Interactional Repertoire Shared Domain Core Feature Identification Common ground Indicator Group Identity Interactional norms Observable Behavior Reference to the group (I, me, mine versus we, us and our) meaning of central topics is not discussed and understood versus
meaning of central concepts is discussed and negotiated and understood
(mutual understanding) no civil discussion versus (reference to) ground rules of civil discussion:
listening, no interruption, constructive criticism Outsider Perspective Lockhorst, Van der Pol, & Admiraal (2008) Development of domain-specific and metacognitive knowledge
Development of research skills: methods for conducting experiments, collaboration, communication
Development of self-regulation skills: planning, monitoring, evaluation, reflection, epistemology
Development of interest in conducting research The Sparkling School Aims Participants Instructional
Design Example:
Water Project VU University, Dept. of Teacher Education
St. Ignatiusgymnasium, grammar school in Amsterdam
Joint Project Grant (School first applicant) Pre-university education
Aim: meaningful education (for students and school)
Students from 12 to 18
All grades except last grade (exam preparation)
Teachers with academic backgrounds Benchmark lessons, first brainstorm
Site visits (lab, practical situation)
Training in using equipment
Second brainstorm meeting: composing groups, planning, choosing research questions (reflection on experimenting)
Data collection
Data analysis
Presentation of research outcomes (reflection on data interpretation)
Evaluation (reflection on process) Teachers: Joop van der Schee (geography in education researcher), Bart Hermans (geography teacher), Andreas Schreuder (science teacher).
Aim: Composing a map representing the water quality in Amsterdam. Answering specific research questions.
Content: Site visits, conducting research, presenting results. Four weeks, two afternoons per week.
Final test: No test, presentation and discussion of results.
Students: Six groups of five grade three grammar school students (15 years of age). School University Partnership
Community Development
Teacher Education, First and Second of 4 years Program
Sharing Experiences
Exploring and Discussing Themes Community of
Student Teachers Aims Participants Instructional
Design Two communities with two formal leaders
Seven 1st year and eight 2nd year students Students are 4 days/week teaching in secondary school, 1 day/week in teacher education institute
Weekly meetings with mentor teacher
Pedagogical assignments, reflection sessions
Incident Method 1. Student teacher describes practice and problem until action taken.
2. Peers pose questions to understand problem.
3. Peers describe situation, possible causes and motives.
4. Peers propose actions to be taken.
5. Student teacher describes his or her actions taken. Discussion by peers. Research, not education
Establishing construct validity of concept of teacher presence
Three subscales: Course Design and Organization, Facilitating Discourse, Direct Instruction. MBA Distance Courses Aims Participants Instructional
Design 191 MBA students Mid-Western U.S. University,
mean age 32.4, 43% female 14 Graduate classes: organizational theory, business strategy, human resource management, project management, operations management
Blackboard and Desire To Learn (D2L): synchronous and asynchronous interaction
Distance learning classes, students taught through web-based interactions
Class sizes from 12 to 34 1. Student teacher describes practice and problem until action taken.
2. Peers pose questions to understand problem.
3. Peers describe situation, possible causes and motives.
4. Peers propose actions to be taken.
5. Student teacher describes his or her actions taken. Discussion by peers. Outcomes Confirmation of three factors underpinning teaching presence
Elaboration of the content of the three factors 1. Student teacher describes practice and problem until action taken.
2. Peers pose questions to understand problem.
3. Peers describe situation, possible causes and motives.
4. Peers propose actions to be taken.
5. Student teacher describes his or her actions taken. Discussion by peers. Instructional Design and Organization Facilitating Discourse Direct Instruction Need to
communicate clear goals,
provide clear instructions on how to participate,
set deadlines and time frames
determine guidelines and boundaries
monitor and manage ongoing course activities Need to
intervene and interact on an ongoing basis
encourage and acknowledge student participation
create channels for effective dialogue
keep students on task in discussions Instructor as expert
providing intellectual and scholarly leadership through knowledge sharing
presenting content
raising questions
clarifying concepts
providing feedback Two Examples General Outcomes Critical Evaluation Academic Learning Communities Professional Learning Communities Distance Learning Communities Zhao & Kuh (2004):
First-year and senior students from 365 institutions
Participating in learning communities positively linked to
- student academic performance,
- engaging activities (collaborative learning, interaction with faculty)
- gains associated with college attendance
- satisfaction with the college experience Vescio, Ross, & Adams (2008)
11 empirical studies on professional learning communities in the domain of teaching practice.
8 studies reported improvement in students' results
Critical success factors:
- Facilities for teachers to collaborate
- Focus on student learning
- Culture of continuous teacher learning Chen (2003):
Important factors that influence learning in networked learning communities:
Interactivity in multiple interactive structure.
Collaboration among learners with diverse expertise and backgrounds.
Real life problems in authentic global settings.
Continuously available learning environment through location independence and asynchronicity. Community Processes Evaluation Purpose Evaluation Object Instruments Community Outcomes Participants:
students and
teacher,
community Processes Products Students:
- Motivation
- Satisfaction
- Interest
- Attitudes
- Knowledge and Skills Teachers:
- Motivation
- Satisfaction
- Leadership Styles
- Knowledge and Skills - Sharing experiences
- Conducting Research
- Designing Products
- Preparing Advice - Research Reports
- Designs
- Advices Community:
- Characteristics
- Development Participants Processes Products - Questionnaires
- Tests: Knowledge, Skills
- Observation
- Protocol Analysis - Observation
- Protocol Analysis - Content Analysis Participation Knowledge
Building Understanding Mind as container of knowledge, learning as filling the container.
Knowledge as property of the individual mind.
Learning is a matter of construction, acquisition and transfer. Learning as participation in various cultural practices and shared learning activities.
Focus on activities ("knowing") instead of outcomes ("knowledge").
Knowledge is aspect of participation in cultural practices.
Learning is situated in networks of distributed activities of participation. Focus on new knowledge, new ideas:
Design mode versus belief mode.
No false dilemmas: Self versus Other.
Knowledge as a third entity between participants in a community. Interaction through shared objects, not just between people.
Externalizing tacit knowledge as basis for knowledge building. Method Two communities with two formal leaders
Seven 1st year and eight 2nd year students
Pedagogical assignments, reflection sessions
Communities observed during 4 months
First and last meeting videotaped
Community activities described in three dimensions of community model
Leadership categorized in transformational and transactional activities Shared Interactional Repertoire Intellectual binding, regulation of interaction, role taking, dynamic effort, dynamic position, interactional norms Group Identity Indicator Commitment to domain, common ground, collective goal, shared knowledge Core Feature Identification, mutual trust and responsibility, social ties, emotional safety, sense of collectivism Shared Domain Transactional Leadership

Contingent reinforcement
Active management by exception
Passive management by exception Transformational Leadership

Idealized influence
Inspirational motivation
Individual consideration
Intellectual stimulation - Empirical evidence supporting Communities of Learners is scarce
- Anecdotal evidence
- No serious attempts to measure learning outcomes
- Perceived learning assessed with inappopriate items Complexity: advantage and drawback.
State of the art: disappointing.
Conceptual deepening by integrating concepts of understanding and participation into concept of knowledge building.
Increasing methodological rigor: assessing deep knowledge building.
Design research.
Comparing cohorts. Paavola, S., Lipponen, L., & Hakkarainen, K. (2004). Models of Innovative Knowledge Communities and Three Metaphors of Learning. Review of Educational Research, 74(4), 557-576. doi:10.3102/00346543074004557
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