:sync: What's All the Talk About?: A look at participation in an OER Virtual Community of Practice

Authors: Walter Butler, Una Daly
Institutions: Pasadena City College, CCCOER
Country: United States

Topic: Applications of Open Education Practices/Open Pedagogy/Open Education Research
Sector: Community College
UNESCO Area of Focus: Sustainable OER
Session Format: Presentation


This presentation will be discussing participation within The Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources (CCCOER), a virtual community of practice (VCoP). By examining the types and frequencies of participation, OER practitioners and advocates will be able to identify and reflect on trends and themes that are present or emerging within the community and then apply this knowledge to their own open educational practices.

The concept of Communities of Practice (CoP) has been around for more than a quarter century. CoP focus on learning in a social context where mutual interest draws individuals to share and create new knowledge freely as they practice together. VCoP make the learning more flexible, but can also create challenging contexts for sharing knowledge and maintaining the community. In this session, we will briefly discuss the existing research about VCoP and how they support learning activities and professional development. We will then dive into the participation within CCCOER. CCCOER supports open educational practices by providing resources, opportunities for collaboration, and support for planning and implementing successful open educational programs at community and technical colleges.

Participation data from CCCOER was collected from the community’s listserv archive from 2011-2018 and was analyzed to identify who was participating, what types of participation was taking place, and what they were talking about. By focusing on the initiating posts (n=2302), it was found that administrators and librarians have high frequencies of participation with questions about initiatives and course resources being most popular. Although this data doesn’t reveal the reasons behind each question, we can take this data - who is asking these questions and what the questions are about - to target OEP and build out supports strategically; not simply around popular topics, but directed toward specific groups of people as well.


virtual communities of practice, OER, open educational practices, community colleges

Hello! We’re looking forward to this discussion! We’ll be making a link to our slides available prior to the presentation.

You can access our presentation slides online: What’s All the Talk About?

Session recording: