[p2pu-dev] [p2pu-community] Community Call Notes - 1 September 2011

Pippa Buchanan Pippa.Buchanan at gmail.com
Fri Sep 2 10:23:57 UTC 2011

Sorry I wasn't able to make the call, I'd have really liked to have
participated in the SoW discussion but am happy to see that some very
relevant discussion took place.

My 2c below:

> SoW
> >
> > Should SoW community members already running courses be allowed to
> continue
> > to do so? If someone proposes a new course, what happens?

Yes, we should still support existing and newly created courses for SoW.

We / I've spent a year encouraging this behaviour as the primary
participation invite. While we didn't get the scale of participation
required or the quality of courses we intended for, I think it would be
foolish to stop the slow and steady momentum of courses still being

To close existing courses would also effectively be a slap in the face as
well as confusing to volunteer. If feels VERY un-P2PU to me and doesn't
reflect the community of SoW I've had a part in building.

People know that they can come to P2PU now to setup courses about open web
development and be part of School of Webcraft - perhaps one way around this
would be to tag them somehow as "School of Webcraft Likes This Topic" or
something like that?

I believe that course (content) quality will probably improve if we can
point organisers to the Challenges as an example of what good content for
web development audiences is.

However course content is not just a problem - being able to organise and
facilitate a group of people on line is also a significant challenge. It is
possibly more apparent in SoW as people _just_ wanting to learn web
development turn up and create a course. Across P2PU in general though it is
learning geeks more specifically who turn up - they may be better aware of
how to do the organisation and facilitaiton side of things.

> Is the new webcraft model still in the P2P spirit?
> >
> > Major changes to be made to how SoW works in the next little while, in
> terms
> > of how courses work, challenges, processes etc
> >
> > Change always has the potential to surface tension points, and we need to
> > consider where these might be and how we should deal with them
> > For example: At the moment, we have several people who are running
> > successful courses, so how will these fit in with a challenges-oriented
> way
> > of doing things?

> > Alison & Zuzel think: until we check if the challenges model is
> successful
> > we should not get rid of the old model and even if they are successful we
> > need feedback from existing facilitators

> .
+1 for Ali and Zuzel's comments.

I think School of Webcraft will be most successful if it supports several
ways of engagement, particularly for people wanting to learn any of the
 non-beginner webskills. If it appears that the only challenges are for
newbies it may be uninviting for more experienced developers.

> Does this new model mean that more experts will be running courses, and if
> this is the case does it mean that we might be moving away from the Peer 2
> Peer spirit of doing things?

I think that more *experienced* people (who may self identify or be
recognised as experts) getting involved in improving course content is a
good thing - SoW and in general.

However, implying and communicating that only "experts" are encouraged to
lead a course is very problematic.

Actual experts are often very busy and we've seen that they can't commit to
the huge amount of time required to run a course
Expert engagement is going to be more effective and longer lasting if they
contribute content or develop challenges.

Inheritance of courses has been a problem
> Incentives to run courses has been a problem
> Need to make incentives for running courses AND for being facilitators
> stronger.

I wonder if these are general challenges for P2PU or specific to just SoW?
 I believe that this  is more apparent in SoW as there have been very
specific metric goals that were difficult to achieve and build on (i.e.
inheritance of courses) and so we've been very conscious of reaching / not
reaching a target.

I think we also need to look at more ways of demystifying and supporting the
process of being a facilitator - Ali in particular has done marvellous work
around this (+1 for ALI!).

In some ways having discipline experts (eg Pro Web Developers) running a
course is a supplentary goal, but helping people be expert amateur
facilitators, course researchers etc will be better.  Not all great teachers
are content and discipline experts (they use learning materials developed by
experts) but they are good at getting other people through the process.

How can we get better facilitators?  I think we need to really shout this
out as a specific set of  *skills *that people can develop and be recognised
for. Yes, anyone can run and should be able to run a peer learning
experience to some extent, but there is certain knowledge and skills that
are going to make it a hell of a lot easier and P2PU should work hard to
identify and share this knowledge.

*Facilitation Badge*
We've talked about this before a little, but I think it's really important
to discuss it further and to develop a very specific course that goes deeper
than the Orientation and handbook and which explores learning design and
pedagogic approaches in a simple way.  This should be very focussed at
facilitating peer interaction and related processes and be useful for people
who are probably not discipline experts.

I believe that if P2PU ties this training / orientation about "Online
Learning Facilitation" to clear outcomes and badges  we can provide an
incentive that will improve facilitation.  P2PU would be offering recognised
"nonformal" learning that gives you skills beneficial for the rest of your
life, especially in a work context.  This badge could be linked to
completion of the orientation course, but people who run and complete
courses in P2PU would level up (eg Facilitator +3) after running multiple

Courses and study groups would be labelled with "Knowledgable Facilitator"
or something similar - You wouldn't need to have the badge to run the
course, but shouting out experience would be important to highlight good
course experiences and encourage other people to get the Facilitation badge.

Phew. I hope you've read this far! If so - I hope you're having a lovely

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