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Webheads in Action

Events leading up to and at the TESOL 2003 Convention March 25-29, 2003 Baltimore, Maryland, USA

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Oct. 21 - Nov. 29, 2002 - Pretraining for EVOnline moderators Jan 20-March 7, 2003 - EVOnline workshop: Communities of practice online: Reflection through experience and experiment with the Webheads community of language learners and practitioners March 26, 2003 - Colloquium: "Case study of a community of practice" at the TESOL 2003 Convention in Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Colloquium: "Case study of a community of practice"
Wednesday, March 26, 2003
9:30 am to 11:15 am, (14:30-16:15 GMT)
Baltimore Convention Center Room 306
event number #4101 at the TESOL 2003 Convention, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

http://www.tesol.org/conv/t2003/pp/program/iss/call_1.html

We are hoping to webcast this event. All are invited to join us. Where? Meet us ...

Presenters:

Remote and on-site participants in this event have been testing equipment a lot lately. We have decided to show video at the beginning of the session from on-site but not take video from remote presenters until toward the end of the sessions because it degrades quality of Wimba Voice Direct chat. During a q & a period we can try to take live video from all presenters. We will also try and alternate live onsite and distance presentations.

9:30 Vance Stevens Introducing WiA: who we are and how we came together, a little of the history of webheads, and how the group came to do an introspective study of itself as an example of a community of practice; brief overview of theoretical underpinnings of CoPs and their relationship to pedagogy and language instruction
http://www.vancestevens.com/papers/tesol/baltimore2003/vance15min.html
9:42 Chris Jones What is a Community of Practice? How does it operate? What kinds of people constitute the membership?
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/evonline2002_webheads/files/2003/colloquium/CoP.ppt
9:54 Teresa Almeida d'Eça Online communication tools that facilitate interaction of participants in a virtual community and their role in language learning
http://www.malhatlantica.pt/teresadeca/webheads/live/baltimore2003.htm
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/evonline2002_webheads/files/2003/colloquium/tesol2003.ppt
10:06 Arlyn Freed Overview of technology explored by Webheads re: the database discussed during Wk. 5 chat, using still images of webhead pages created during the past year, plus excerpts from the compiled data
http://www.eslhome.com/cop2003/db.htm
Netscape users: http://www.eslhome.com/cop2003/TESOLppt/FREED.htm
IE users: http://www.eslhome.com/cop2003/TESOLppt/FREED_IE.htm
10:18 Buthaina Al Othman Introduction to how participation in a CoP informs and influences personal teaching
http://www.geocities.com/esl_efl_ku/
10:30 Aiden Yeh Aiden will share and showcase the projects for classes that were implemented in collaboration with the webheads (evonline webheads and efiwebheads), how she moved on to make better projects based on the lessons learnt from previous ones, and how the group also impacts her social life
http://www.geocities.com/aidenyeh/tesol/CMCandWebheads.htm
10:42 Dafne Gonzalez Chavez What elements provide quality to e-instruction? We will tell you what Webheads think about this issue, using the results from a survey completed during week 6 of our EVonline session. How is WIA regarded in terms of e-quality? This question will also be answered.
http://dafnegon.tripod.com/wiaattesol2003/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/evonline2002_webheads/files/2003/colloquium/equality_tesl2003.ppt
11:54 Michael Coghlan Michael will provide appropriate wrap-up in his inimitable fashion.
11:06-11:15 Questions and answers To access attempted live video feed during this Q&A period please use Yahoo Messenger, contact one of the following: dygonza, vance_stevens, mikecogh, esl_efl_ku

A community of practice forms when participants in an online community evolve a working relationship that leads them to focus spontaneously on shared tasks and problems deriving from their participation in the original community. In such communities it is important that a zone of proximal development be established and that conditions for scaffolding be enhanced through developing interpersonal relationship of the participants. In the experience of members of such a community, how has this been achieved? What conditions are necessary to catalyze an online community into functioning beyond the scope of its initial mandate?

The panelists in this colloquium were recently teacher, teacher-trainer, and materials developer participants in an online computer-mediated communications course with a set syllabus and fixed duration. One of the outcomes of this course was emergence of a community of practice which continues to interact online although the course has long since ‘officially’ finished.

The panelists have already engaged in some degree of reflection on their participation in the community as a component of the fixed course. At this colloquium they will develop their positions in more formal papers and discuss with those present:

Participants in this colloquium will hear first-hand how participants in a community of practice have benefited from each other's participation in ways that have positively affected their teaching practices. Participants will come away with an understanding of how communities of practice can form and help practitioners to develop professionally in a zone of proximal development forged through interaction with peers online.

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Oct. 21 - Nov. 29, 2002 - Pretraining for EVOnline moderators Jan 20-March 7, 2003 - EVOnline workshop: Reflection through experience and experiment with a communities of practice online March 25-29, 2003 - Colloquium: "Case study of a community of practice" at the TESOL 2003 Convention in Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Electronic Village (EV) Online 2003 session, Monday, Jan. 20 - Friday, March 7, 2003

Weekly perspectives on this event: Overview | Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7

Webheads in Action have proposed an EVOnline session entitled: Communities of practice online: Reflection through experience and experiment with the Webheads community of language learners and practitioners

Brief description of the content: A community of practice forms when participants in an online community evolve a working relationship that leads them to focus spontaneously on shared tasks and problems deriving from their participation in the original community. In such communities it is important that a zone of proximal development be established and that conditions for scaffolding be enhanced through developing interpersonal relationship of the participants. In the experience of members of such a community, how has this been achieved? What conditions are necessary to catalyze an online community into functioning beyond the scope of its initial mandate? What benefits accrue to the members of such a community. What lessons can be learned through participation in such a community that can be applied to common goal of its members: optimal facilitation of language learning? This session will invite participants to join such an ongoing community and reflect on its benefits through their own experience with the commun.

Target audience: Anyone interested in becoming a part of a community of practice for the purpose of sharing with and learning from other members of the community

Brief outline of the proposed activities during the 7-week period : The seven panelists in the TESOL/Baltimore colloquium, whose names appear below in red, will coordinate exploration of the following topics so as to prepare their presentations at the colloquium. .

"Week" Dates Facilitators   Topic
1 Mon Jan. 20 to
Sun Jan 26
Vance Stevens

Welcome to the Webheads communities of practice

  • Who are the Webheads?
  • What have we done so far?
  • Let's get organized: how you can participate in this session

Dafne prepared a web page to sort out the different issues discussed in the first week: http://www.geocities.com/dygonza/wia1/wia-w1-intro.html
2 Mon Jan. 27 to
Sun Feb 2

Chris Jones

John Steele

Christine Bauer-Ramazani

  • What are communities of practice?
  • How do communities form online?
  • What conditions lead to emergence of communities of practice?
  • How do communities of practice operate?
3 Mon Feb 3 to
Sun Feb 9

Teresa Almeida d'Eça

Susanne Nyrop

Rita Zeinstejer

4 Mon Feb 10 to
Sun Feb 16

Vance Stevens

Arif Altun

Christopher Johnson

Susanne Nyrop

5 Mon Feb 17 to
Sun Feb 23

Aiden Yeh

Arlyn Freed

Dafne Gonzalez

Buthaina Al Othman

Rita Zeinstejer

6 Mon Feb 24 to
Sun March 2

Dafne Gonzalez

Arif Altun

7 Mon March 3 to
Fri March 7,

Michael Coghlan

All participants
  • What we've learned
  • Wrap-up and consolidation
  • In case you're not leaving us, where to from here?
etc. Sat March 8 to
end of time
   
  • None of us have figured out yet how to end this community of practice

The communication media expected to be used: discussion postings via email, chat, web site, links; with audio and video enhancements

Some of Nigel's post-workshop reflections on how the session went:

The Webheads group was curious because it was trying to do three things: continue ongoing discussions about new technologies and WiA events, introduce the community and some of the CMC tools to new members, and undertake a "meta" analysis of the structure of the community itself (CoP). As has been noted, very few new members actually posted messages - the discussion was mostly between the existing members (actually, the numerous weekly moderators). One gently wonders whether this group was trying to do a little too much - occasional messages suggested that newbies were getting lost, and repeated appeals from some of us to the "boundary members" went unanswered. Of course, the point has been made that people could benefit from the workshop without participating actively, and there was certainly enough traffic on the list to facilitate this. Still, it's something to reflect on as we think ahead.

Vance's reflections on Nigel's observations

I thought Nigel's was a useful critique. My own feeling is that what happened with this group, unlike the one that went before, is that I was on holiday (had to take it or lose it) right before the sessions started. Therefore a group formed but didn't get rolling until the starting gun sounded, and then those who knew how to run took off, while others stood milling in confusion in the dust. The year before, I had a good month to interact with participants and get things set up (web pages with pictures for example) and get the people involved interacting informally BEFORE the start of the sessions. This I think was the reason that the three things we were ambitiously trying to do wasn't well understood. There is nothing wrong with having multiple agendas as long as people understand what the choices are and how to follow whichever ones they think will benefit them personally. Others have commented on the pace of the sessions being intense, and such comments were typically from experienced Webheads (we kept handing off to fresh new energetic moderators each week). Of course those with no experience with the group were in a sink or swim position. I feel however that this can be attenuated in the future by attending more carefully to that crucially important pre-session runup, when there is a chance to interact informally with group members as they come on board and introduce them to each other and to the culture of the group.

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Oct. 21 - Nov. 29, 2002 - Pretraining for EVOnline moderators Jan 20-March 7, 2003 - EVOnline workshop: Reflection through experience and experiment with a communities of practice online March 25-29, 2003 - Colloquium: "Case study of a community of practice" at the TESOL 2003 Convention in Baltimore, Maryland, USA

TESOL EVOnline 2003: Pretraining for moderators, Monday, Oct. 21 - Friday, Nov. 29, 2002

I served on the team providing technical training for moderators during the 2003 EVOnline sessions, entailing providing pointers in running online courses based in YahooGroups as well as introduction and training in use of numerous synchronous online computer-mediated communications tools. Trainers are on "stand-by" during the actual online sessions (Monday, Jan. 20 - Friday, March 7, 2003) to answer questions and do some trouble-shooting for the session leaders they have been assigned to (probably 2 per trainer)



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