Foundations of Communities of Practice Workshop – Tonight!

foundations of CoP So, tonight begins CPsquare’s Foundations of Communities of Practice workshop. I have thought about taking this before, but neither the time nor the funding was flowing easily, so what better time than the present?!

I will be in the capable hands of Etienne Wenger, the CoP (Communities of Practice) guru, John D. Smith, a community coach and technologist with whom I have worked before, and Bronwyn Stuckey, an educational researcher and online facilitator whose navigation of time and space amazes me. I have read about and studied CoP for some time now, though really like the idea of focusing on it as an experience in itself.

As my doctoral program at Lancaster University is focused around the CoP (network learning) model, and as my recent research uses CoPs as the theoretical framework, I thought that spending some time with colleagues who have related interests may be a good experience.

Wonder what I will learn over the seven weeks, and how my own learning framework may develop . . .

Research Design Outline Approved

The fundamental ideas in my outline for my Autoethnographer Communities of Practice research design was approved yesterday from my faculty tutor at Lancaster University. Next steps for this week include:

  1. Specifying the interview questions
  2. Writing the consent form
  3. Submitting them both (with a tweaked overview) for ethical approval (I was told this should be a quick process as my research design is low risk)

I am still excited about this research outline, as I have not seen much research in this area.

Lancaster Doctoral Residential, 2009

Here I am in the middle of my residential in the northwest of England, where I have recently started as a doctoral student studying toward a PhD in E-Research and Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL or ERTEL). 

After teaching and learning for so many years, why not focus on the PhD? After all, while I work full-time as a project manager, I also teach doctoral students, MBA and other graduate students, undergraduates, and continuing education students. I already have four earned masters degrees, review countless academic and peer-reviewed presentations, papers, and journal articles. Why not get the credential I have already worked long and hard to achieve (not to mention my own countless papers, international presentation, and articles of some sort or another)?

While I have held off thus far discussing my studies which began two months ago (I have been busy, even by my own standards!), they will become more a part of my life and thus my blog postings.

Nothing like more opportunities for reflective practice to improve my teaching and learning.

CIDER and FOC08 Live Online Sessions Today

There are two wonderful professional development opportunities today that I am hoping to attend:

  1. Gale Parchoma of Lancaster University will be speaking live online via CIDER (Canadian Institute of Distance Education Research) at 11:00 MDT (time conversion here). Her topic is “Adoption of Technology Enhanced Learning in Higher Education.”
  2. Leigh Blackall will have the first of two conference calls for his Facilitating Online Communities sessions this evening at UTC 9:00 PM (time conversion here).

Both of these promise to be wonderful free learning events for those of us who work with online learning, communities of practice, and educational technology.