I have had a few questions about the upcoming work with Modules 4 and 5. The following are a few guidelines for the activities you will be pursuing.
I will note here that the work for the two modules does not have to be conducted consecutively. Indeed, you will not have time to do so. You should be working on both modules concurrently. This is why a PLC that is less formal and ‘closer’ to you (e.g. an actual workplace PLC) will be a benefit.
I will also note up front that these are guidelines only. If you have an original approach that you think will fulfil in substance and spirit the requirements, I am very much open to an innovative, thought-provoking project in some other format.
Some guidelines for my expectations in Module 4 include:
- The whole paper should not be more than 2500 words (not including the process account). I would be surprised if you passed in less than 1500-2000 (some of my feedback to you was more than 1000 words!)
- Be very concise. Be clear. I will be impressed by good writing.
- Be harsh with each other in the editing. Allow others to edit your work. They can only make it better.
- Don’t be afraid to delete.
- For every article or source of knowledge that you cite in your paper, include a reference at the end of the paper. I do not want an annotated bibliography.
- I prefer APA, but do not actually care. Whatever you use, be consistent. The whole point is to let your reader follow your ideas and find their provenance.
The outline should be something like this:
- What problem or burning question do you have around working collaboratively?
- When you work with a group, what issues concern you about how you can work with other people?
- What is the context of your issue? (e.g. are you working at a distance? With the same people over and over? Are you the principal? Is there a power relationship at play? Are the cultural differences / misunderstandings?)
- WHY do you think this is an important issue?
- Literature review
- Use the articles that you have been provided in the reading list. Feel free to do some searching as well.
- What do others (authors!) say about your problem? How have others handled the problem?
- Proposed solution
- This follows logically from your literature review. Did any of the authors provide a solution that you might try? Have you cobbled together a couple of pointers from each author?
- Relate the solution to your PLC.
- In your groups, each of you might have a few points about how each of you might tackle the problem with you own PLC.
- Or, you can focus on one PLC but then in Module 5 you can go on a different tack with your own PLC
- If your whole group has joined the same PLC, then you might want to consider how each of you will either work together, or address different questions within that same PLC.
- Don’t be afraid to cite authors in this section as well
- Process account
- Copy the notes from your google doc or extracts from your emails etc. It will be very helpful to highlight important concepts or points where you reached agreement, or highlighted differences etc.
For Module 5, you will hopefully be able to put your solution to the test:
- Identify a Professional Community with whom to connect
- You have already done this, but you are free to change your mind and pick a different PLC. At this point, my advice about picking one that might respond to you will become relevant.
- Starting with one of your burning questions, and quite possibly the burning question you worked on with your group, take the introduction and literature review from your group work and define a set of core ideas, related to Collaborative Inquiry and based on course content, to be shared as appropriate, with your chosen PLC.
- You might not actually share this verbatim. The point is to prepare yourself to address issues (burning questions) that you feel you will encounter.
- In your evidence of connect (see next point), you can show how you tried to implement your solution and connect with your community.
- Connect virtually and/or physically with the PLC and document your interactions.
- Provide evidence of a connection to the identified Professional Community.
- Where virtual and/or physical connection is not possible, you will need to create a “digital foothold” where you can communicate the set of core ideas that were identified related to Collaborative Inquiry and the particular Professional Community
- You might not get a reply from your PLC.
- Then you will need to show a digital foothold.
- This is the point where you will find the work better and more rewarding if you can actually connect with your PLC.
- Create a link between your digital foothold and the course.
- This will be a reflective piece of writing in the discussion board.
I hope these notes help to clarify.