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Appreciative Inquiry (AI) of a developing community of learning technologists - Rhona Sharpe & Patsy Clarke.

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Presentation on theme: "Appreciative Inquiry (AI) of a developing community of learning technologists - Rhona Sharpe & Patsy Clarke."— Presentation transcript:

1 Appreciative Inquiry (AI) of a developing community of learning technologists - Rhona Sharpe & Patsy Clarke

2 Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development Outline Background of the community What and why Appreciative Inquiry (AI) What we did Outcomes

3 Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development Emerge project Community-based model of support for the JISC funded Users and Innovation Programme (U&I) UIDM/ User engagement model Emerge tasked to create a community of practice to support the U&I projects through their life cycle Initially supported 40 small teams from 28 UK higher education institutions through funding bid preparation (6 months) Ran for 28 months from January 2007 to April 2009

4 Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development Community of practice Included 22 funded projects More than 200 members Community of communities Face-to-face and online and used a broad range of social media tools Elgg, Second Life, Elluminate, Moodle, Twitter, Flickr See:

5 Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development Why Appreciative Inquiry? Aim: Research-led approach Promote an atmosphere of collective inquiry Ongoing and iterative monitoring and development of community Feedback to the support and management teams for design of support processes and events Aware: The act of evaluation has a transforming effect on the subject of research AI: An approach to organisational change Suitable for educational development related to change in groups, communities and organisations Holds that what you want more of already exists somewhere in the organisation Used to determine strengths and excellence and create conditions to nurture these

6 Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development DISCOVERY Appreciating the best of what is DREAM Envisioning what could be DESIGN Co-constructing what should be DELIVER/ DESTINY Sustaining what will be AI: 4-D model Positive topic choice

7 Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development What we did Ran AI alongside the Emerge support processes Included varied purposeful AI activities at different stages More than 25 data collection points over 28 months Multiple formats of data collection: AI workshops Visualisations of the future of Emerge and membership of Emerge Digital postcards In depth interviews Story collecting and sharing Metaphors of Emerge membership Plus AI framed questions in the F2F & online event evaluation surveys

8 Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development Visualisations of Emerge Emerge is Terry Pratchetts Discworld turtle. It supports the structured Emerge activities (elephants). On top of the elephants are the products and outputs of projects. UIDM butterflies, between the projects which are flying off in different directions

9 Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development AI workshops at events Included: network mapping speed networking cracker barrels unconferences

10 Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development Postcards

11 Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development Metaphors for Emerge Liquid learning space A swamp Chaos Buzzing busy swarm (stingless) Great Auntie Gladys A snail watching the whizzing community Orchestra…/ Rock star…/ Rock festival… Jacobs join

12 Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development 3 rounds of interviews 22 AI framed interviews from 11 projects Focused on What processes support the emergence of technology supported communities? What was working well as members joined the community? What was working well as the projects progressed? What plans for benefits realisation of the project outcomes? Included highly engaged members to those less so Problems and gaps presented as suggestions for action Community generated Compiled storied versions of the interviews Reported* back to community, support team and programme management Event and support planning was responsive to the feedback *see Clarke, 2008; Clarke and Sharpe, 2008; Clarke, 2009

13 Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development Spark sheets for feedback Its been helpful to share out multiple channels among project team members in order to participate fully The amount of catching up that would be required on a fast moving communication and information provision becomes so overwhelming that it becomes a deterrent from engagement. We have all been quite busy doing our own stuff so would not see all that much need to get involved with other (Emerge) people. Like Glastonbury, its a bit muddy, a lot of cool stuff happening and I cant get to it all. I cant say to JISC sorry we didnt deliver half our outputs - but I did turn up for an Emerge thing. I felt like a snail – I was crawling along at my own pace and when I dropped into the Emerge community online I felt that the world was whizzing past me but I struggled to relate to what people where saying in the blogs to my own practice really. Theres a bit of a tension as to whether we need more events or more time to get on with things. B: Programme participation How do you experience participation in this programme ?

14 Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development Reported value of Emerge There is definitely a direct relationship between Emerge and the support I got from that and my promotion to Principal Lecturer Professional development Funding bids – improved confidence of first time bidders; Improved the quality of bids to JISC & other funders Collaborative inter-institution Inter-discipline team formation "We got together and the sparks were flying with excitement, we all thought, 'Wow this is really interesting!' and we were so enthused by it..."..they're doing it to make you write a better bid & from 2 of the 3 we got funding - the other one we are still writing. Improved project work We engaged with all 19 projects we could not have done the project without the Emerge membership… Openness and sharing Informal, social, (serious) fun Collaborative altruistic behaviour

15 Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development Our experience of AI Has been iterative and ongoing Multiple data collection methods and times Provided records of evidence to feed into event design and processes Provided opportunities for participants to contribute solutions and improvements Enabled us to hear a range of participant voices and perspectives Accommodated the multiple levels of engagement within the Emerge community, rather than distilling to an aggregated majority voice Proved a good evaluation fit with program aims Enabled a growing understanding of the nature of Emerge community building and engagement.

16 Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development Issues Discovery and dreaming have proved the easier stages to implement than the later stages Changes and ongoing expansion of community membership resulted in gaps, fragmented or mis- understandings of the AI approach Expansion of the collective inquiry process has been limited However: The ideas and practices that have been piloted in the Emerge Project are continuing to be developed in the current 3-year JISC funded Institutional Innovation Programme.

17 Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development Thank you


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