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					“An Online Community of Practice
for Business and Foreign Language
             Faculty”
   CIBER Business Language Conference
                  2010
               Mary Risner
           University of Florida
NOBLE Welcome Page
 What is a Community of Practice
             (CoP)?

  group “of people who share a concern, a set
of problems, or a passion about a topic, and
who deepen their knowledge and expertise in
this area by interacting on an ongoing basis”
(Wenger, McDermott, & Snyder, 2002, p.4)
    Value of A CoP in the Context of
       Professional Development


• Knowledge sharing in informal social networks
  has proven to be an enabling force to help
  teachers change their practice (Schlager &
  Fusco, 2003).
 Professional Development (cont.)


• This type of PD meets the immediate needs
  of teachers for knowledge in their area of
  interest, not by mandate of administrators.
 Professional Development (cont.)

• “Just-in-time” rather than a “just-in-case”
  enrichment approaches can help teachers
  acquire the knowledge and skills they need in
  an autonomous fashion (Granger et al…..,
  2002)
 Professional Development (cont.)

• According to Hiebert, Gallimore & Stigler
  (2002), professional development has the
  most impact on learning when its design is
  long term, tied to the curriculum of the
  teachers involved, and collaborative.
 Professional Development (cont.)
• The design component of experiential
  learning for teachers in professional
  development serves as a model for them to
  implement in their own classrooms after they
  have felt how it has enhanced their own
  personal learning experience (Loucks-Horsley,
  Love, Stiles, Mundry & Hewson, 2003).
           Why Have a CoP?


                              an outlet to
Collaborative
                                 build
approach to
                access to     professional
   facing
                expertise,   identity and a
challenges in
                              professional
   a field,
                               network,
      Why Have a CoP? (cont.)


                                a way to enjoy
an option to     an approach
                                 working with
keep abreast     to share and
                                colleagues in a
 of current       create new
                                voluntary and
trends in the   resources and
                                  egalitarian
    field,        knowledge,
                                 environment.
Why an Online CoP?


  Online activities allow flexibility in scheduling,
   time, collaboration across borders, time for
  reflection and dialogue, and the development
  of an “owned” learning space (Sprague, 2006).
Why an Online CoP? (cont.)

        Participants become more comfortable
       with social networking tools for their own
      learning so that they can eventually begin
        to integrate into their own classrooms.
Why an Online CoP? (cont.)



       The virtual format also allows individuals to
      experience emerging technologies as tools to
       assist in the sharing of ideas and resources
        (Dube, L., Bourhis, A., & Jacob, R., 2006).
Need for a CoP in Business Language


Peer support for          Connect
                                           Need to improve
small discipline     instructors across
                                              U.S global
 with minimal       large geographical
                                            competence
   resources               spread

              Need for
                                 Increase cross-
            professional
                                   disciplinary
           development in
                                   connections
              this field
                      Need (cont.)


 Long-term project     Not just checking
                                              Going beyond
targeted to achieve    the box for one-
                                                lectures
   real outcomes         time events



              Empowering          Encouraging self-
               individuals        directed learning
Goals for the NOBLE CoP

        • Establish and mobilize a group of
          committed high school and post-
          secondary instructors who share
          similar interests in integrating
          business language and culture into
          the curriculum and collaborating with
          other colleagues.
Goals (cont.)
 • Create a virtual space for
   resources and information
   pertinent to the field and a
   platform to collaborate and
   exchange ideas with
   colleagues at a distance.
             Questions


1. Can an online forum and web portal
  be used to create a dynamic online
community of practice that unites K-16
faculty and promotes the preparation
of culturally competent global leaders?
               Questions


2.
How does one engage members of a CoP and
ensure productive outcomes in terms of
professional development for faculty?
 Benefits of a CoP

Empower teachers at all levels

Improve articulation among K-
16 educators

Ensure resources reach more
institutions
Provide professional
development at a lower cost
and economizing on time

Connect isolated instructors
interested in field
The NOBLE Project Idea
NOBLE-Network of Business Language
           Educators
           Online Spaces



• www.nble.org

• www.globalworkplaceskills.ning.com
             Establishing NOBLE

F2F initial meeting

Discussion of goals/mission

Site design with group input

Forum

Dissemination of information on NOBLE for recruitment
       Member Demographics
• From 8 states
• Representing 7 languages (Arabic, Chinese,
  English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, German)
• Interest in business and medical language
• Faculty from foreign language, business,
  educational technology
• Members from secondary, post-secondary,
  private language institute
        Online Interaction to Date
                 on Ning

• 19 members registered
• Minimal posting
• Creation of 5 sub-groups: Business English,
  Business Portuguese, Online Teaching,
  Technology Tools, 21st Century Skills
         NOBLE Web Portal Activity
            January -February

• 65 unique visits with the majority coming
  from referred sites
• Majority of hits came from the United States
• Others from Spain, Pakistan, Japan, Ethiopia,
  Bulgaria, United Kingdom, Canada, China, and
  Congo (Ten countries)
       NOBLE Web Portal Activity
           February-March


• 186 unique visits with the majority coming
  from referred sites
• Majority of hits came from the United States
• Others from 25 countries
Possible Reasons for Slow Start…

Hew & Hara (2007) found that lack
  of knowledge, lack of time, and
 concerns for misinterpretations of
online comments due to absence of
 visual clues were three of the five
  primary obstacles to knowledge
               sharing.
          Slow Start (cont.)

 Survey on use of social networking
 and content-sharing tools by K-12
educators found that actual educator
 use of social networking tools lags
          behind interest.
     edWeb.net, MCHDiscoverB21 & MMS Education, 2009
      Slow Start (cont.)


Lack of time teachers have,

intimidation by the use of
technology,
         Slow Start (cont.)


hassles of logging in to access a
network,

the fear of privacy issues tied to
participation in online communities.
        Maybe Small is Good…

• According to Allan and Lewis (2005), virtual
  learning communities have a better chance of
  being effective if their membership is fairly
  small varying from 5-18 members.
 NOBLE Accomplishments to Date

• Site and forum launched
• Sponsored one K-12 attendee at FIU Business
  Language conference
• F2F Meeting at UF in late February
• Skype meeting
• Twitter and Facebook accounts created
       Accomplishments (cont.)

• Strategic Plan drafted
• Starter lessons drafted
• Article in process on Florida K-12 model
• Established committee for Business Language
  on Florida Foreign Language Association board
• Increasing interest in field!
  Challenges for NOBLE

Apprehension
 about term          Lack of time
  “business”


             Lack of
         understanding of
          what “business
        language” means
       Challenges (cont.)
  Finding and            Traditional
connecting with      academic views on
the faculty that     teaching language
    “get” it            for literature


             Hesitance to
          collaborate across
              disciplines
    How to Overcome These Obstacles?


•   Keep working with those involved
•   Keep recruiting
•   Keep disseminating information
•   Keep projects on the horizon
 How to Overcome These Obstacles?


• Keep shipping!

• http://the99percent.com/tips/6249/seth-
  godin-the-truth-about-shipping

• http://the99percent.com/videos/5822/seth-
  godin-quieting-the-lizard-brain
            Upcoming Projects
• Summer workshop on learning
  centers/careers
• Video clips with skits on value of global skills
• Podcasts with testimonials/cultural
  experiences
• FFLA 2011
            Career Wordle


• www.wordle.net
           Sample Video Clip

• http://community.actfl.org/ACTFL/ACTFL/Reso
  urces/ViewDocument/Default.aspx?Document
  Key=1397ada6-e9bc-4c56-ab09-0c86afb8fb80

				
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posted:1/29/2011
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