Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Communities of practice: online workshop in Dutch

I'm working with Maarten de Laat and Marc Coenders to prepare a Dutch online workshop about online communities of practice in September. We meet every month face-to-face to talk through the design, which is slowly cristallyzing. We involve two mentors and former participants in the design phase. In between, we use the online workshop space and skype sessions to discuss. Marc and Maarten have already facilitated an online workshop together, but I haven't, so we really need this time to get used to each other and become a team. What helps, though, is our common base in CPsquare as our own community of practice which seems to represent a sort of being at ease with chaotic, creative processes; apart from a shared base in theory of course.

Even though I get worried at times whether we are suffiently on the same line of thinking I do think we are a strong team in terms of complementary and overlapping knowledge areas. This is something I start to recognise in good teams: people not only complement eachother, but there should be a right balance in shared knowledge and complementary knowledge. Through CPsquare we can tap into the experiences of other online workshops as well.

Interestingly, the reaction to the price (1250 euros for 7 weeks) are very mixed. Some people think it's cheap, others think this is amazingly expensive. It probably depends what you compare it with. If you compare it with the experience of a face-to-face workshop (which I do) it is reasonable. If you compare it with online course, which are self tutoring and where you download standard materials, it may sound expensive. This workshop is a completely different overwhelming, highly interactive experience, which demands intense facilitation.

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