Dear 801 Students - In response to some questions about the PLCs, the collaborative group and Module, 4, here is some additional information that might help you.I hope to clarify the relationship between the following two assignments and professional learning communities (PLCs).
You started working towards these specific activities when you identified one or more PLCs that you thought might be useful to your work or offer you the support that you are looking for with your teaching. In Module two, you discussed design solutions and burning questions in the knowledge forum. This work was based on your feedback and questions from your concept map.
In Module three, you will be directed to comment on each others’ PLCs and on how they might speak towards your burning questions. These discussions will take place in the Module 2 discussion board where you posted your professional communities.
So, now, you should start communicating with other students, continue to review each other’s questions, PLC notes, and technology montages in the discussion boards. You then need to decide on which ‘brief’ (PLC and question(s)) interests you. Still in the Module 2 discussion board, you can then contact each other and form a collaborative group (2-4 participants) to start the process of analyzing your burning question and taking the appropriate steps to find / propose a solution to the burning questions.
As a group, you can then review your combined questions and PLC choices. Ideally, you will select the brief that has the most clarity in terms of process and the most opportunity for engagement with the PLC. “The focus of your collaboration will be to design a proposed solution to a substantive problem or dilemma in a Professional Community of your group’s choosing.”
In your groups, you will:
- Engage in critical review of a problem and the context in which the problem exists in a community
- Propose solutions to a problem that are sensitive to the concerns of the stakeholders
- Prototype versions of the solution for review by other students in the course
- Write a Design/Problem Brief that includes
- Introduction: description of the problem/issue that is being addressed
- Literature review - scholarly connections between your burning questions and the literature
- The proposed solution - a discussion and ‘tangible version’ of the solution (prototype, process description, tools, etc.)
- "Process account" - a summary of the process of engagement between members of your group
- Reference List and citations within the body of the Design/Problem Brief
You can use any collaborative technologies (e.g. Google Docs) that you see fit, and that you have investigated in the montage. Remember that you need to include a process account of your engagement with each other so you should use a technology that leaves a ‘paper trail’.
After this has been submitted, and concurrently, each of you will be expected to digitally communicate with a chosen PLC about the value of collaborative inquiry as it relates to an authentic problem of practice. This is why I have advised many of you to think about PLCs from whom you can realistically expect to receive a reply.
Please note that there is no reason why your entire group cannot work with the same PLC after the group work assignment is completed to do the Module 5 individual work.
For Module 5, you will
- Identify a Professional Community with whom to connect
- 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.
- 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
- 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.