Three years’ blogging, a learning journey

Qualitative analysis of learning, it is not easy. This time I try to apply a description of value creation on communities of practice. It has been in my mind since I read it in Jenny Mackness’s blog in July after her visiting in a workshop around the topic. Value can be measured collecting data (Google Analytics) and adding to it  individuaal and collective narratives. Individual narratives become part of the collective one: what is happening means ground narratives and aspirations of the community help to assess value-creation. I copied the diagram here from Jenny’s post where you get the links to the book of Wenger, Trayner and de Laart.

Ground narrative: community or network activities can be found  on the left side and aspirational narrative, framing success on the right side of the table. Participation gives the immediate value, some interaction, level of engagement and reflection, having fun.

You can see the quantitative measurements in my former post. I began to participate in CCK08 and a big leap/ jump  in numbers happened two years later, during PLENK. My blog got more visitors. But what is my narrative, what this all means to me when I look it inside my mind.

Cycle 2, potential value is interesting: Skills acquired, inspiration, social connections, tools and documents, new views of learning. Three years blogging has given all these potential values to me. I turned to cycle 2 step byt step. Soon after CCK08 my research interests arouse and we had a meeting during CCK09. At the beginning of my blogging I was a novice in connectivism community but soon I turned to research interest. I read my blog posts from the autumn 2008 and could follow how I compared my own knowledge base to principles given in connectivism – and I took a distance inside my mind. But I was polite and grateful for the courses because I could not participate without these opportunities.

Cycle 3, applied value can be seen during the autumn 2010, more active participation, more to give to other co-learners. Cycles 4 and 5, realized value and reframing value are open in my mind just now and that is why I am interested in this description of value  creation cycles. I know that I must be independent in my learning journey and seek my real co-learners. I can use conferences and courses but only carefully choosing according to my perspective.

Cycle 3 means change in practice, how people use knowledge capital and cycle 4, performance improvement. I have to define these to myself – aspirational narratives cannot be given outside.  Evaluation process needs maturing and it is hard work.

I have been working on these questions many times. My description a year ago was this:

Now I can see the value creation cycles one and two in this image. Cycles are individualized by combining to my history and my skills, cycles differentiate a lot, they are not the same to everyone.

Now I am living through a total reframe and I need new language, new concepts and complexity.Perhaps I must use the concepts given by Kraut: identity-based or bond-based commitment, have written about them a year ago. Or I could use the concept ‘anchor object’ in social self-organisation, written in Feb 2011. Perhaps I cannot accept other anchors but only science and serious research, not opinion-change small talk communities. Learning Analytics gather the instruments, it cannot become a science, only give better and quicker tools. Digital Scholarship needs proper basics, it cannot mean empty publishing.

Interesting times we live anyway. On Wednesday Jenny and Roy have a CIDER session and I have their IRRODL article printed, I am sure that I learn something new by reading it carefully and asking my questions in a dialogue. More information about he session  here in Jenny’s blog.


3 thoughts on “Three years’ blogging, a learning journey

  1. Hi Heli – this is an interesting approach to Wenger et al’s framework. I hadn’t considered that it could be used for individual evaluation. A couple of things that I took from the workshop in California were:
    1. The power of narrative – i.e. the stories that can be told at each cycle and I wonder if you have more stories that you can tell about your community activity.
    2. The outcomes of cycle 4 can also tell you whether you have been asking the right questions for your evaluation. The evaluation might have focused on the wrong aspect of practice.
    I am still thinking about the different ways in which the value creation framework could be used, so it has been interesting to read your post. Thanks


  2. Thanks for commenting, Jenny.

    I am working on to find my place in open web world and Wenger et al.’s framework helped me some steps forward, but many questions are still open. I did not want to write about connectivism in public and therefor it is difficult to follow my thinking.

    Jus now I am re-reading your IRRODL article and considering how scientific thinking could become true in collaborative networks. Narratives can be science, it is not a privilege of prescriptive line.
    Meet you in the evening I hope in Connect pro CIDER meeting

  3. Pingback: Heli connecting ideas » Blog Archive » Learning outcomes for #edcmooc

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