Communities of Practice Online (CoPo)

Communities of Practice Online (CoPo)

Saturday, May 08, 2004

Findings from the 'Connecting Up Conference'

Here are my findings from the ‘Connecting Up Conference’ (Using Information and Communication Technology to Build Australian Communities), which ran from the 3– 4 May 2004 at the Hyatt Regency Adelaide. I found this conference incredibly valuable to my goal of creating a virtual community of Practice for ACT Tourism TAFE teachers and Industry Staff. I have listed below some useful resources/information I gleaned from the conference.

Hints in creating successful online communities (collated from many different sessions across the conference)
- Build a webpage first then ask for feedback or else you will never get agreement on what should be included/not included.
- Adjust the site as you receive feedback.
- Importance of ownership. Never have the philosophy of ‘build it and they will come’ as often they don’t!
- Have the community name the site, have input to what is included and use photos of the community members.
- Importance of training/how to. Community members must be comfortable with how to navigate the site.
- Navigation must be consistent on every page
- Must be current and relevant
- Don’t bury links
- Keep it simple. If it is too fancy it will take time to download and most consumers will not wait.
- Be specific ie. ‘click here’
- Think of the advantages of using a website over a manual document and create it for these purposes – interaction, search functions and hyperlinks. Don’t just add in static pages.
- The use of an active facilitator encourages participation
- Importance of WI4M (whats in it for me) or WCB (why come back) personal interest
- Dynamic change ie. automatic changes to time/date/weather. Have consumers assume you update the site daily!!
- Fun
- Local Information/relevance
- Gossip/photos/bitch pages
- Interactivity
- Free adds, events calender, local pictures, area for request for local speakers.

Useful webpages Case studies on community building for example ‘ Community Builders Nebraska Case Study’ There is also a link to ‘Case Study Guidelines’ This is a link to an area on community tools and how to start your own community in Edna Online. Useful freeware links with free web tools including button makers, sound effects and logo makers.

Useful publications
Flexibility through Online Learning’ (NCVER)A brief report including ‘Barriers to effective online learning and delivery from a learners perspective and from a teachers perspective’.

Broadboand – Teleworking. Case studies on teleworking for example a travel agency manager working from home. (NOIE September 2003)

Quote - ‘Increasing capacity to use ICT is the 3rd essential life skill for ALL Australians’ by key note speaker Wal Taylor (PhD) from the COIN Internet Academy, Faculty of Informatics and Communication, Central Queensland University, Rockhampton.

A full summary of the conference including an overview, list of speakers and program can be found at


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home