Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Practical examples: Interview with Bill Williams on ILO/CIARIS experiences in lusophone Africa

I did an interview with Bill Williams (ESTBarreiro, Setubal Polytechnic, Portugal) who talked about linking participants from courses run by ILO/CIARIS for Portugese speaking practioners in Africa working on combating social exclusion in a guest blogpost. I was interested to know more (and to my surprise I found out Bill is not a Portugese national as I assumed, but originally from Ireland). In a separate blogpost I will explain the technicalities of producing this podcast. It took more time than I thought, so I see the advantage of doing a text Instant Message interview as I had originally in mind!

The interview can be found both here, as well as on the right-hand side of this blog in the sidebar where it's called joitske's podcasts, under my profile. It can be listened to by clicking on the triangle. It takes a little while before the interview starts. The whole podcast is less than 9 minutes. A summary of the main content:

1. The point of creating a community of practice from a course situation is to achieve a situation where the learning is going on and there are people who have a tremendous amount of experience and knowledge, which can be useful to people working on similar problems in similar languages.

2. The two principal issues to address while trying to create ongoing links between course participants are (1) to establish the medium, platform or instrument for maintaining contact and (2) to create a sense of community of practice and habit of exchange, which depends a lot on motivation.

3. What is needed to create a successful community of practice is an ongoing structure, somebody to nurture the CoP (with the necessary time and support), a mailing list, a concrete task and the right incentives.

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