So how be one community? That’s this week’s task for the course E-learning 3.0. Do we even want to be one community? Do we want to celebrate our similarities or our differences? Do we need to celebrate anything at all?
I think the best way to “solve” this task is to find a viable minimal consensus. We self-organize, establishing for that occasion something like a community, but not by doing something which involves a tremendous investment of trust and long-term commitment.
Let’s follow the example of Wikipedia. Pete Forsyth explained how there is no need for Wikipedia community members to trust each other on some deep, all-encompassing personal level. It’s enough to trust a member to do a good job by providing information backed up by references to good sources.
So what could we do to affirm ourselves to be members of a loose #el30 community – which could eventually develop as a community of practice?

Concrete proposal

I suggest we all post about our experiences in this course. It would be a short or long piece about the content, the way it’s being organized, the way the learners did or did not interact with each other or how we reacted in blog posts and on social media.
Such a post seems like a natural thing to do, there are no good or bad posts, yet it would affirm our being together in this thing – #el30.

12 thoughts on “#el30 task – community proposal

  1. I accept your proposal. It seems to me to be the right place to start for a number of reasons:

    – we are probably all time poor in some way and time is short to complete the task. Your suggestion allows us to manage our own time
    – we need something that is both distributed and open, if it is to fit with the topic. Writing our own blog posts allows for this
    – we need something in common, but allows for diversity – in this case we have el30 in common but likely have very different opinions on it
    – we need something that is cooperative rather than collaborative. This suggestion doesn’t require collaboration.
    – we need a sense of purpose (or to build something). I can see that the outcome would be a useful set of el30 evaluations for Stephen and his team, which could feed into the next iteration of the course
    – we need consensus. We will have achieved that if everyone writes a blog post as suggested – short or long.
    – we need a level playing field, i.e. no one in authority. This suggestion is probably as near as we will get to this.

    I am not sure that this will lead to a ‘community’, which is a requirement of the task. I think it depends on what we each understand by community. I am not convinced that community is a necessary outcome of consensus.

    I need to think about this more, but for now I think we have enough to get on with.

    Many thanks for getting the ball rolling.

  2. Mulling your proposal over (and thanking you for getting something into the wind).
    I’d be happy to do this, but wonder if there is some kind of “next step” that threads our posts together?
    If we all post, we are still isolated at our blogs and spaces. If we could weave our words together, and create a Quilt of Posts, perhaps, then we take a step into making connections that bring our reflections together. It could be as simple as a Padlet digital wall site (where we all post an excerpt with a link and some art).
    I’d suggest, too, that every post that gets published in this experiment get commented upon by other members of the experiment. So we would all agree to the task of making sure all words are welcomed, and maybe even spark other conversations.

  3. I’m very happy to post as well, and I agree with Jenny that there needs to be more of a mutually agreed understanding/definition of community for this purpose. Stephen commented on my earlier post on community that:
    ‘When we look at (what I’ll call) natural communities (as opposed to organized communities) they have two major features: lack of trust, and lack of mutual engagement, shared repertoire and joint enterprise.’ ( )

    I think that he’s talking about functioning ecosystems as opposed to the ‘community’ built on 12 principles shared by Valerie ( )

    I don’t think that the functioning natural community that Stephen is talking about *has* to be devoid of trust or of the further principles; they are not mutually exclusive, nor are they prerequisites. I’m thinking on this one… and I will definitely write a post 🙂

  4. Having written my own post (which was a thinking through process) and read posts by Kevin, Laura and Matthias, I realise that I really don’t think ‘community’ is a necessary outcome – or even a possible outcome of this task. I think, as Matthias puts it, the word community is a fudge.

    What seems to be important is reaching consensus, and I can see the point of this element of the task. I’m sure we will learn that it is difficult to reach consensus, but I think Roland’s task will enable us to do this. Roland’s task can easily be done by anyone, without having to think about ‘community’ and what that might mean. It can also be completed by people who really don’t want to be a member of a community.

    Thanks to Stephen for his comment – and I can see why he would not want us to work on a Google doc. It would rather defeat the object of the task, i.e. reaching consensus on the distributed web. Actually that is another strength of Roland’s proposal. It does not require a centralised site for completion. Where I would question Stephen, would be in the need to call the outcome of this task a community, but as with ‘recognition’ last week, maybe his meaning and use of the word community will become clearer by the end of the week.

    So – I am still supporting Roland’s proposal.

  5. Thanks Roland, I agree to this proposal as well and will try to write up a post about my experiences as soon as I can. This thread itself has proved a very valuable and interesting discussion about community. To me, definitions can be by their nature, exclusive, whereas descriptions can be inclusive and more contextually useful.


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