The lack of interaction at the start of the course is appearing as a commonality in the blogs of our learners. Brigitte, Natalie, Miranda and myself have all expressed to varying degrees a level of initially feeling alone or some desire for further interaction. The importance of this early interaction in building a Community of Practice is clearly illustrated in Gilly Salmon’s (2003) five-stage model posted by Natalie.
Wenger-Trayner (2015) form the following definition:
Communities of practice are groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.
As a group all studying NGL, we obviously have shared interest or concern, for some maybe even passion. The thing I’m looking forward to is learning how to do it better and it seems this best occurs by regular interaction. Maybe we’ve missed that a little in the early stages of the course and jumped straight to the Information Exchange stage. To further enhance the course in the future I like Miranda’s ideas of expanding on some of our initial tasks to enable further interaction. One example she cites is the Flickr exercise we did. I agree with her identification of this as an opportunity for further interaction. I know that personally, on completion of that task, I really enjoyed looking at the photos. They made me wonder about the other course participants, wonder where they were and which photos belonged to whom.