Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Membership has grown to 19

The membership of The Learning Concierge Society has grown to 19, postings are still limited to Jane attempting to encourage discussion and posting links to articles that relate to the topic of Learning Concierge.
I did make a request to hear more examples of how members act as Learning Concierges in a professional capacity, and this has generated 5 responses, with one member adding a link to a blogpost that was relevant, which they had published earlier in the year. 
One new member has posted a group-wide comment relating to their role as a guide to finding reliable sources of information for workplace use. 
So the conversation continues, albeit slowly.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Slowly forming with direction but little participation

My Learning Concierge Society is noticeably inactive. The Director of the Society, Jane, has been posting regularly (twice weekly) however it seems that the initial interest displayed by members has waned. There is little, if any response to Jane's postings which is not generating any energy within the group. It is an informal group, with no requirement for participation and I am wondering if it is simply a condition of a community in it's formative stages. I will continue to observe and I hope that my open declaration that I am observing the group has not deterred other participants from posting. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Facilitating the introductory conversations & individual participation

As mentioned previously the Learning Concierge Society has been active for only 2 months, therefore the community is still in its developing stages or the 'forming stage' as cited by McInnerney & Roberts (2004 p79) as presented by Tuckman 1965 as cited in Kemery 2000. 

The facilitator posts regularly (every second day) in the initial days of the society to encourage community members to share their thoughts and ideas, specifically as they relate to their role as a Learning Concierge
The general posts generate no responses, however when the facilitator posts are more direct in a request for response, she received comments from members and respective conversations followed.

As would be expected by a facilitator, she responds to comments/replies to her initial postings in recognition of the members' comments aswell as to continue the conversation by prompting with relevant questions. By being responsive to comments/replies or member postings the facilitator is encouraging comments or postings from other members, in an effort to open the community to wider participation. 

Currently, of the 11 members (excluding myself and the facilitator) I have categorised the following in an effort to observe the ongoing trends of participation.

My Observations of the individual participation shows  5 members posted once or twice in the initial days of the community, 4 members participated actively for the first week, 2 members post or comment fortnightly.

I will continue to observe the group as it grows, which will also allow me to determine  how members participate going forward and to note if once early active members return to the group. 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Setting myself up in my learning community For EDIT517

The eLearning community I am interacting in is Learning Concierge Society which is a group recently initiated by Jane Hart. I discovered this community when Hart posted a blogpost introducing the concept of learning concierge. 

Jane is somewhat of an identity within corporate training as she has a very active online presence, having established the Centre for Learning and Performance Technologies (C4LPT) You can check this link for more info about Jane
As with anything that targets a corporate audience, there is something to 'purchase'; from consulting services, participation in a workshop or e-books, however there are also many items on offer at no charge such as presentations of information and lists of Top 100 technologies with reviews. The workshops and publications on offer are also very reasonably priced and whilst I have not yet participated I am keen to involve myself in future workshops. 

Relevance to who I am and what I do. 
As a trainer in a corporate setting I find the concepts and issues that are raised by Hart, in her writings (blog) and her followers' (in comments) are most relevant to my circumstances. I was therefore keen to understand more about this concept of learning concierge. I submitted my request to join the group and within a few days I received the email invitation.

There are currently only 47 members, as the group was initiated 2 months ago.
The main platform for communication is Yammer which is a Social Media platform that I am familiar with, as this is used within my organisation for colleagues across Suncorp to share information. From my initial investigations there are many topics that are relevant to me. I will share more over the coming days as I immerse myself in the community and develop my own sense of self within the group.

I will also send Hart an email as a courtesy to verify that she is agreeable to having me discuss issues that relate to the community within this blog. As it is a closed community there may be certain restrictions that I have not considered. 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

What is a Learning Community ?

I believe a learning community is a coming together of Individuals who are interested in developing their knowledge on a particular topic. 

The dictionary definition ( ) of community, refers to "those living in the same locality", therefore community requires a commonality of location for individual participants. 
When we consider this in the online world, the commonality of location is very important as this may be the only forum where dispersed participants or community members are able to meet. Therefore it seems to be essential that there is an online space that is a dedicated resource for the community to develop in and around, such as a LMS, website, wiki or blog.

McInnerney and Roberts (2004) propose that along with "a gathering of people" a community also requires "a sense of belonging". From my experiences with various online communities, as mentioned in my previous post, I can appreciate how a 'sense of belonging' is an essential component to individual participation in a community, as it encourages a feeling of security and as a result enables participants to find their voice; by having the courage to comment and communicate within the community.

So a learning community requires a collection of participants with a common desire to develop knowledge in a central accessible location where participants can feel secure. 

Blogging is always an interesting exercise, as it often generates more questions for me, but perhaps that is the underlying purpose. I look forward to hearing my colleague's perspectives on learning communities to formulate a final understanding of what makes a learning community, particularly as it relates to online.

Learning Communites I have been involved in for EDIT517

The following series of blogposts serve to support my participation in a unit of study which contributes to my Graduate Certificate of eLearning, 'eLearning Communities EDIT517'

In this post I will list learning communities that I have had experience with. In subsequent postings I will consider the definition of a learning community.

If you are interested in discovering in more detail my journey with eLearning so far you can refer to my previous blogpost, however to keep on track I will list the online learning communities that I have previously been involved in and briefly comment on the nature of the community and my involvement. 

Australia eseries is a group of enthusiastic learning professionals from many areas of education and adult learning who come together to share information and collaborate with other professionals. As the name suggests it is targeted at Australian educators however it is not limited to Australia as they have connections with Steve Hargadon's 'Classroom 2.0 Live', being a similar American online learning community.
I have tracked the activities of the group on and off over the past 2 years and participated in some Webinars. There is always something going on with this group, to keep participants interested and the the community managers/facilitators encorage involvement by community participants.

C4LPT is an online learning community that is designed for an audience of workplace educators with a focus on workplace learning. The founder Jane Hart is famed for her annual compilation of Top 100 online tools for the year gone by. 
I came across the work of Jane Hart when I first discovered the Internet Time Alliance
I have not yet participated in one of the online courses on offer (at a small fee).

Communities of Practice (CoP) in my workplace setting
In my workplace there are several communities of practice that are currently available and I am involved in. below I have outlined 2 communities that require my involvement ad part of my job role. 
  • NSW Learning CoP comprises various L&D professionals from within my organisation, from Commercial Insurance (CI) Personal Insurance (PI) and Learning Advice Services (LAS) who come together bi-monthly or quarterly via Video conference to discuss current issues and share ideas. I have actively participated in this community in an effort to organise and conduct the synchronous sessions to enable the community to 'stay alive' amongst the many busy participants. 
  • National Training Capability Leader (TCL) CoP Is a newly formed community forum. Whilst the participants within the community have all been working in the same capacity for over 2 years, the synchronous forums (via Video conference) have only just commenced. This will be a good example of a developing community that I will be able to observe as it grows and develops. I have had little to do with the co-ordination of this community and intend to involve myself as a participant rather than a coordinator.
There are many learning communities that I would like to be involved with however my work and home commitments do not allow the time. One community that I am very keen to further explore is Jokaydia particularly as it relates to Massively Minecraft (Minecraft is currently my 10 year old son's 'thing')

Saturday, April 13, 2013

From this day forward

I have returned. It has been over a year since my last post and I am committed to posting frequently (committing but not to a timeframe, we shall see how it goes). I am planning to use this blog as a journal/eportfolio/bookmark repository for my own purposes. To record what I read, what I think about what I read and also what I need to come back to.

I am still employed as a TCL (Training Capability Leader) and I am undertaking a Grad Cert in eLearning with UNE. I go through phases of favorites. At the moment I am keenly reading for my course, sometimes I am all consumed by Twitter, other times I am reading blog posts, while all the time still listening to my Podcasts and watching TED talks.

I am currently reading A New Culture of Learning by Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown (2011). Today I spent some time watching videos from The COFA Online Gateway . I stumbled upon this link from Stephen Downes' oldaily newsletter to which I subscribe via email. These posts are not intended to proliferate with philosophical thoughts(although there may be a few) but rather to keep me on track, wherever that track may lead.