Does a learning community or community of practice need tasks to function well? Should you officially assign these functions to people or could it be best if people spontaneously fullfil certain roles? Think about the self-organising power of communities? Sibrenne Wagenaar en Joitske Hulsebosch) about tasks in networked learning. It was thought by us would be nice to talk about a few of our thinking in this blogpost. Assignments are not explicitly designated and named because it is a starting and spontaneous process.
Since we’ve taken the initiative to invite people we feel more accountable for the intricacies of this network, but others also take initiatives and propose activities. We talk regularly with members informally, take initiative to convene a meeting f2f, start an online brainstorming, make sure invitations are available for online webinars.
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But fundamentally anyone can take the initiative to start operations and that occurs. And when do formal assignments get in the way of spontaneous self-organisation? A more formal roles gives you a certain focus and responsibility that means it is clear how you (are supposed to) donate to a network. The art in network learning is often this can be coupled with other existing work duties and possessing a formalised role may help to guarantee the learning community doesn’t get ‘off the radar’.
It is essential that the items of the network highly relevant to you and consistent with other work one does to avoid the network tasks from falling from the list, but having an explicit role can also contribute certainly. What roles is it possible to distinguish? There are many different classifications of jobs in learning networks. The Ruud de Moor Centrum has developed a great networked learning toolkit and developed six important functions, pass on over an external and internal focus. There are two more sources that we like to give out: Eric Davidov’s roles and roles described by Michael Fontaine.
3. Ambassador is supporting and advocating the necessity for the learning network1. Consumer: the person who looks for and uses content, information, and social connections. 2. Creator: The individual who creates, stocks, improves, and discusses content and information. 3. Connector: The person who helps others to get the content, information, and people they seek or need.
4. Carrier: The person who helps designers to transfer and promote their content and information to others. 5. Caretaker: The person who manages the training community. We offer these three categories never to compare them, but showing the variety in thinking about and defining assignments rather. This is not the ‘one right list’ that can make your learning network perfect.
You may develop your own list of tasks for your network, motivated by these lists. It really is difficult to compare them because they have been described from different perspectives. The set of Ruud de Moor Centre is based on multiple learning networks in a system in which tasks are needed exterior support. Eric Davidov, predicated on a literature overview, has compiled the most common roles in a Community of Practice.
Fontaine has looked at assignments and their development in areas in several large organizations. In his view, certain roles (eg sponsor, head, subject material experts) are essential in the early stages of a major network, and over time find it apparent shifts rather. Fascinating to read his article about any of it!
Formal or informal roles? There’s a difference between a spontaneous role (eg. It may be worthwhile to formalise certain roles to create clarity and to make sure that the duties are anchored somewhere in the network. Playing with roles will help the introduction of a network. This is true for a coordinator roles, but for less apparent roles like inspirator or monitor also.