Working on this post, I realize that a workshop in discussion arts can offer a wide variety of options for building groups and communities. Here are just a few ideas to begin a catalog.
Assignment One: Finding a Buddy
Find a buddy and establish a dialogue through email and chat. Maybe a series of emails in one day that culminates in a chat. Your assignment is to elect a third person that both of you agree upon.
Assignment Two: Choosing a Platform
The objective is to choose a simple communication platform such as email, chat, blogs and commit to a dialogue.
Assignment Three: Introductions
The objective is to introduce one blogger or poster to another on the platform you have chosen.
How long should it take to complete all of the projects? I am inclined to think that the only way to know is to try it. How long does it take to find a buddy? In traditional communities we usually find a buddy within the first month or two of joining.
How should the evaluation be conducted? Since each project is a group effort, we do not focus upon individual performance as much as we do upon the performance of the group in achieving the objective. Evaluation is objective. These are ordinal projects so the focus is not upon the morality of any given individual.
Who is qualified to evaluate the outcome? Any member who is active in the whole Discussion Workshop program is qualified to evaluate the performance of the group. We take turns at evaluating.
Who is qualified to even participate in the workshop? Any person or group that wishes to empower itself by learning how to use traditional temporal and ordinal forms in an online situation.
Maybe this is a bit too ambitious? People first need to learn how to arrange appointemnts before they can even meet for a chat! Maybe project two should be Arranging Appointements?
Maybe there could be a choice of projects and a choice of modules?
Ordinal Form Module
This is a short term Discussion Workshop Module. All projects should be completed within a designated time frame.
Let's build a small group up from scratch. We start with one person - you. The next step is to find one other. You might begin searching blogs and dialoguing privately with people either through blog comments, email or a chat.
For this project we will use three common, simple platforms. Open a google account and you will have access to all three:
2) Gmail groupchat
3) Google groups
We want to move from a two person dialogue to a three people chat.
Assignment One: Alternate Posting
The objective is to establish dialogues for three parties. The form you may use is Alternate Posting ABAB ACAC BCBC and converse 20 minutes
Assignment Two: First Circle
The objective is to establish a circle form ABC ABC.. and converse with it for 20 minutes.
In project two you established a foundation of alternate posting and are now prepared to form your first circle. The first problem you will encounter is not an issue of order but time. Doing anything in order requires that one thing happen after another. So the problem is time. Who is qualified for your circle? Those that can meet at the same time.
Assignment Three: Small Group
The objective is to set up a google group.
You must decide together how your group will be organized. Will all three of you have administrative rights and responsibilities? Or will you elect one to administer? What will you accomplish with the time you have together? How often will you meet.
- Hmmmmm. Maybe there could be a wide variety of projects and modules that workshop participants can choose from or these could serve as models and members could design their own modules with the help of the more seasoned members?
That could be a better approach. The workshop could have a wide array of project choices organized according to levels of expertise that can be combined into different variations.
Choosing a Platform may be as simple as Arranging Appointments. Finding a Purpose and Alternate Posting may be at a slightly higher level? Small Groups and Practical Dialogue are even a bit more challenging.
So I'm thinking that we could design a whole batch of different kinds of communication and leadership projects that could be choices for self-designed modules. To be evaluated and credited for a module the member would only need to choose one project from each level.
All of these projects and modules would comprise a complete skills building program. There can be even more challenging programs in an onward and upward progression.
Practical Dialogue Module
The objective is to learn all functions of the platform together.
Choose a Platform
Design a Simple Learning Program
Learn the Platform Together
Electing a New Member The objective is to choose a third person to join you in a purpose.
Write the Opening Post
50 Post Discussion
Begin and End on Time in these exercises, there is a temporal or ordinal limit. The subject matter of the topic can be continued in another discussion using a different form.
Lead the Team Coordinate the assigned roles for the evaluation team.
Options Options Options--
--Hmmmm. The problem is that there must be an incredibly large number of options!
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