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Chapter 2

Overview of Chapter 2 from Creating and Sustaining Online Professional Communities editted by Falk and Drayton
by

Heidi Kaminsky

on 29 July 2011

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Transcript of Chapter 2

Site Architecture The "Inquiry Page" (p. 53) Anyone can contribute ideas allows users/visitors to build their own inquiry units Central theme of using/posting to the website is based on a Deweyan philosophy: "Ask, Investigate, Create, Discuss, Reflect." Choice of Collaborative Tools and Models for Interaction FrEdMail This was an Apple II email system. Its users included teachers and students, who were able to ask university scientists questions. It is important to note that students were seen as full participants. (p. 51) Wiki (www.uiuc.edu.goto/dime) Listserv and Newsletter "Brownbag Lunch Series" Weekly lunch with people from different sectors (teachers, professors, students). No "structure" to lunch; the "glue" of the conversation is a shared interest in inquiry (p. 52) "Inquiry Page" Website used by educators, students, and parents that is composed of numerous resources for inquiry (p. 54-55) http://inquiry.illinois.edu/ Administrative Structures lacks Uses a bottom-up model (p. 49) "If you want to build a ship, then don't drum up men to gather wood, give orders, and divide the work. Rather, teach them to yearn for the far and endless sea."

Antoine de Saint-Exupery Assessment of Inquiry Learning John Dewey's key insights about inquiry learning is that it is "an embodied, participatory, social, moral, and critical process" (Falk and Drayton, pg 62) Measured by: conversation
socialization
formation of new groups
respect for diversity
cross-disciplinary, collaborative, and participatory process
a form of learning without absolute values placed upon learning To assist all participants to develop a "critical, socially engaged intelligence" - if a person does not learn something which enables them to contribute to the community then the learning is useless. success can’t be measured through formative means Size and Coherence of Membership An open community with non-restrictive,
heterogeneous membership The Inquiry Group maintains an ever-increasing
community population Larger size does not equal saturation of knowledge Made up of multiple constituencies with differing
professional backgrounds, purposes, scope of action,
and collaborative patterns Membership Carried over to other Contexts 3. The Chickscope Project - Involved K-12 students and teachers who incubated eggs and raised chickens in the classroom have used Inquiry Units to pose specific questions related to "incubation and poultry raising, scientific methods, mathematics, embryology, genetics, evolution, biomedical imaging, poultry breeds and economics, and research ethics." (pg. 56) 4. The Ethnography of the University Initiative (EUI) - "Undergraduate students engage in research about their own lived experiences." The students create Inquiry Units to represent the results of their ethnographies. (pg. 57) Structure and Offline Interactions The very nature of the Inquiry page, both in its size
and coherence of membership help to continually
shape its structure. Members play an active role is shaping the design,
content, and community building of the Inquiry Page. "The Inquiry Group enables leadership to emerge within several levels or areas
of the community, and leadership can range from contributing content to creating
and facilitating small communities of interest or practice." (pg. 12) The online community the populates the Inquiry Page was born
out of, and continues to grow from pre-existing offline communities. "...the pre-existing patterns of collaboration, personal acquaintance, and shared culture" these varying member groups share offline, will help ensure each of these same dynamics exist online, in helping to support the entire community and deepen interactions among different groups and individuals who are using the Inquiry Page for entirely different purposes. (pg. 11). Examples "As they [members of the Afya Project] entered units online, they had ideas about how to improve the interface and about how to make structures more useful for their purposes. The individual and collective effort to address everyday problems did, in fact, lead to online community building and also to improved software design." (pg. 56) "The ethnography use [of the Inquiry Page] has led through a participatory design process to major additions and improvements in the software. Users appropriate the technology to meet their own needs. They use it not only for diverse purposes, but as participatory designers, they become active creators, rather than passive recipients of someone else's idea of what they technology should be." (pg. 57) 2. The Afya Project - "African-American Women from North Champaign working together to take charge of their own families healthcare needs have created personal health plans, which were facilitated by their use of Inquiry Units." (pg. 56) 1. The East St. Louis Action Research Project - "Volunteers [of this group] have used the Inquiry Units to share challenges and solutions to setting up technology centers [for community centers and churches], as well as ideas for libraries and teenagers, help for the aged, and economic development. (pg. 56) structure by design Ask Investigate Create Discuss Reflect No clear goals No key personnel No timelines Community of Practice No materials or activities Content: degree to which content is constrained Context: what participation can mean
what kinds of interactions will be available
what sorts of topics may be offered "Perhaps furthest along this spectrum, Bruce in Chapter 2 offers a toolkit and a philosophical framework through which very different constituencies can explore unrelated interests." pg 9 emphasis is on the sharing of resources as opposed to sharing of craft knowledge Used by teachers, librarians, students, parents, and people invloved in a wide variety of community action. University courses, full programs, web sites, various research projects, dissertations, and international connections have grown out of the original project. Goal is to continually shape an individual's own situation in order to achieve greater unity Inevitable conflicts, debates about content and format, confusions, missed meetings, people who came for awhile then dropped out ... participants nevertheless found value in the dialogues, creating and growing through the interactions. Inquiry Units
supported investigations into phenomena of all kinds, including teaching and learning
Based on Inquiry Cycle (Dewey)
Ask -> Investigate -> Create -> Discuss -> Reflect
Boundary to facilitate communication across disciplinary and work divides
Expresses value of inquiry as a creative process
Cycle requires supportive community with common values
Supports reflective discourse Features of co-authorship, comments, document charing, and group and community support emerged through an open participatory process of reflective inquiry, not through a centralized design proces. Listservs, static web site, wikis The Life of the Inquiry Group
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