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Radical Realtime Transparency
The Peculiarities and Possibilities of Cognitive Apprenticeships in Open Communities
April 10, 2012 Mel Chua firstname.lastname@example.org PhD student at Purdue University and member of the teachingopensource.org community released under a creative commons attribution-share-alike license
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How can we understand the sorts of learning that takes place within open communities, and what implications and effects might they have for undergraduate STEM education?
I wish to thank the following people before this paper begins: The professors in the Teaching Open Source community, particularly Fardad Soleimanloo of Seneca College for his commentary on how open communities make the teacher's job easier, and Heidi Ellis of Western New England University and Karl Wurst of Worcester State University for generously giving their time for extended interviews in March. To our knowledge, this was the first time someone has tried to formally capture a teacher's experience in open community involvement in such high detail. Because of the paucity of scholarly work in this area, these interviews ended up being a large part of the data I drew on for my paper. Sumana Harihareswara of the Wikimedia foundation, Sebastian Dziallas of the Fedora Project, and Greg DeKoenigsberg of the Eucalyptus project for giving feedback on initial drafts of this material and keeping me honest about the nature of open communities. John Smith, Etienne Wenger, and other members of the Community of Practice Foundations Workshop who answered my incessant questions on the nature of communities of practice; any errors in representing the various thoughts behind communities of practice, legitimate peripheral participation, and so forth are my own.
When open communities – open source, open content, and open hardware projects – are healthy and thriving, they act as communities of practice whose cultural practices of transparency enable situated learning and cognitive apprenticeships in ways that complement traditional classroom instruction. Their widespread informal mentorship practices lead to ample opportunities for students to engage in legitimate peripheral participation. Their text-based and asynchronous nature, caused by the distribution of open community contributors across multiple timezones, make these experiences accessible to a broader group of learners than those able to participate in conventional undergraduate internships or co-ops. This paper uses frameworks and language from academia to describe the learning interactions that take place in open communities. It describes some of the central cultural differences between academic and open communities and discusses the potential of implementing “the open source way” in academia as a whole. My intent is to help instructors frame their thinking on how to incorporate open community participation into their classes, and to give open community members another set of conceptual tools they can use to understand (and hopefully improve) their own activities. Ultimately, I hope this paper will help both groups talk with each other.
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Open source, hardware, and content projects such as Linux, Firefox, and Wikipedia provide rich environments for authentic student learning by allowing students to participate in an ongoing project of significant complexity. The communities that surround these open projects are particularly interesting, as the transparency of both artifacts and processes contributes to both an individual student's portfolio and their institution's public profile. Such projects allow students to gain real-world experience within a professional environment where the development process is made as visible and explicit as possible and a culture of inquiry and cooperative learning is fostered. This affords students a view of a creation process that typically cannot be provided by industry or within the confines of a conventional classroom. In short, there are opportunities for learning here. However, it's difficult for instructors to design classroom experiences for an unfamiliar world they may have never seen themselves. To many academics, it's almost as if open communities speak a foreign language – they certainly have a foreign culture that requires translation into terminologies and ways of explaining that are familiar to an audience of professors. Prior scholarly work has focused on describing open culture to a variety of academic domains such as sociology, anthropology, economics, and law, but no such translation exists for education. This paper aims to be one such introductory translation geared towards teachers of engineering at the undergraduate level, a period which serves as the final pre-professional phase of training for most new engineers. The focus, therefore, is on preparing students to function as working technical contributors in the “real world” while they remain within the relatively safe confines of the classroom, where the ramifications of mistakes are less costly. Open communities are good places to experiment with working in the “real world” because they are the real world – but the real world presented in a remarkably flexible way that can be readily adapted to the classroom environment.
This paper posits that healthy open source, open content, and open hardware projects (hereafter “open communities”) are communities of practice whose cultural practices of transparency enable situated learning and cognitive apprenticeships in ways that complement traditional classroom instruction.
For those involved in a project, the process of creation involves a rich and delightfully messy discourse, a conversation between teammates and technology, components, codes, analysis, and constraints. This conversation is situated in a particular context; one cannot learn “how to talk about engineering” through textbook memorization or reading university brochures any more than one can learn "Italian conversation" through vocabulary memorization or reading tourist guides. However, for those not already involved in the creative process, that's the equivalent of what they're stuck with. The invisibility of "what engineers do" doesn't exactly encourage people to participate in research projects themselves, whether that's as subjects or as researchers. It can also help engineers
RADICAL REALTIME TRANSPARENCY become more self-aware as; why do we do these things in certain ways? How do we assume the world works? What can we learn from people who may come from a completely different context?
What if we could identify the practices of transparent communication in open communities, understand the processes by which these discourse-exposing practices scaffold the learning of novices, and then transfer these practices and processes to our own research projects? What will happen when researchers start allowing ourselves and others to eavesdrop on our "ordinary" conversations, and what are the barriers and benefits to doing so? The idea of "exposing the discourse" of engineering has implications for issues of access, because nonprivileged groups (especially groups already underrepresented in the sciences) don't often get exposure to the "language" of the technical realm. It's a lot harder to speak a language you can't hear. It also touches on the notion of cross-disciplinary work; even within a university, researchers from one discipline have little opportunity to "overhear" conversations from another discipline (and thus intuit how or why they should collaborate with those departments). Finally, there is potential for dialogue on open access and the culture of academia as it relates to transparency, publishing, and attribution.
Open communities Free and open source software (FOSS), open hardware, and open content communities (hereafter “open communities”) represent a counterexample to the usual "behind closed doors at all time!" research practices. They adhere to a policy of “radical realtime transparency.” By making not just their final outputs but their intermediate revisions, design discussions, technical reviews, and essentially nearly all their conversational and technical artifacts available, freely-licensed, and fully-attributable online, they enable access to legitimate peripheral participation to a higher degree than most research projects. We will focus, for the sake of brevity, on computing as a foundational domain within STEM education. Foundational domains are those which “rest on relatively sparse conceptual and factual underpinnings, turning instead on students' robust and efficient execution of a set of cognitive and metacognitive skills" and apply widely to many future fields of endeavor; they include subjects such as reading, writing, and mathematics (Collins, Brown, & Newman, 1987, p. 7). Computation is increasingly becoming included as a fourth member of the classic three-R foundation trio of “reading, (w)riting, and 'rithmetic.” Examining computing as a cornerstone underpinning modern STEM education will allow us to use the concept of cognitive apprenticeships, an idea originally created to explore the teaching of foundational domains (Collins, Brown, & Holum, 1991), as a way of understanding learning in open communities. What is cognitive apprenticeship? Briefly stated, cognitive apprenticeships apply the principles of traditional craft apprenticeship to the cognitive domain; this will be expanded upon later in the paper. “Cognitive apprenticeship is not a model of teaching that gives teachers a packaged formula for instruction. Instead, it is an instructional paradigm for teaching” (Collins et al., 1991, p. 17). Lave and Wenger (1991) expand upon this and explain the legitimate peripheral participation enabled by cognitive apprenticeships as not a pedagogical technique, but rather a way of understanding how learning happens regardless of what
RADICAL REALTIME TRANSPARENCY teaching methodology is used (p. 40).
Nevertheless, there are 4 aspects of apprenticeship that are useful to explain here: modeling, scaffolding, coaching, and fading. These four techniques improve self-monitoring and metacognition, vital skills for successful participation in a community of practice (Collins et al., 1991, p. 2). Again, this is not a particular teaching technique, but rather a description of learning processes; if you think about it, people enculturate into different communities all the time, so “becoming an apprentice” is just a formal name for an ordinary process. In contrast, if we sign up to go to school for something, we're signing up to do something very different from our normal lives (Brown et al., 1989, p. 35). Let's examine each of these four behaviors in turn.
Aspects that appear in cognitive apprenticeships
Modeling Modeling involves an expert's performing a task so that the students can observe and build a conceptual model of the processes that are required to accomplish it. In cognitive domains, this requires the externalization of usually internal processes and activities... (Collins et al., 1991, p. 13) Finding examples of modeling in open communities is exceptionally easy; since open communities operate under the cultural norm of “if it's not public, it doesn't count,” which can actually be expanded to “if the process, rationale, and artifact are not public, the artifact and action don't count,” every action and artifact recognized as legitimate by an open community is by definition a recorded example of modeling that can be accessed by any student in perpetuity. Scaffolding Another aspect of apprenticeship is scaffolding, which refers to doing part of a task so that the student is only responsible for modeling a subset of the procedure done by experts (Collins et al., 1987, p. 13). Here again, open communities make this aspect easy to put into practice; projects will often have ticket trackers serving as to-do lists, and these contain partially completed tasks, often with references to materials needed to finish the task. This is a work management strategy – core members of a community often have too much to do to complete all the tasks they would like – but it does end up having inadvertent educational benefits. Experienced members of an open community will also “talk out loud” in public chatrooms or mailing lists as they progress through a task, which enables newcomers to follow along and to give their input on a portion of a task as it progresses. Coaching Coaching consists of observing students while they carry out a task and offering hints, scaffolding, feedback, modeling, reminders, and new tasks aimed at bringing their performance closer to expert performance. (Collins et al., 1991, p. 14) For instance, one strategy for teaching with a cognitive apprenticeship is to have students compare their performance relative to their teacher's (Collins et al., 1987, p. 9). This can easily be adapted to open
RADICAL REALTIME TRANSPARENCY communities by having students compare their performance relative to that of not just one mentor, but many – and not just to expert mentors, but to other learners at very different points along the learning cycle. Another section of this paper discusses further the benefits of being able to glean information from multiple mentors at different stages in the learning process.
Students can coach each other, given sufficient scaffolding to do so. This sort of coaching allows students to practice both performing and critiquing; as one student performs, the other students critique (Collins et al., 1987, p. 10-11). Open communities all rely on some form of peer review, be it code review, article editing, approval by a committer who serves as a “gatekeeper” to the final body of work, or some other means, but often allow any member of the public to comment on the artifact in question. This provides an excellent opportunity for students to be coached and to coach others in turn. Encouragement is also a form of coaching, as demonstrated by Heidi Ellis: And I just tell them throughout the semester. So I do a lot of encouraging. You're doing fine. I know this feels like you're flailing in an ocean and you don't know what you're doing, but you're doing fine. (H. Ellis, personal communication, March 13, 2012) Fading Fading simply refers to the gradual withdrawal of the other three aspects (modeling, scaffolding, and coaching) as the abilities of students mature.
Misconception: artifacts can be learned in isolation from the communities they are used in. Practitioners of any discipline, cognitive or not, rely on tools to do their work. In the world of traditional apprenticeship, these tools are often physical ones like hammers or scalpels. In the cognitive apprenticeships of open communities, they are usually software-based (bugtrackers, wikis, mailing lists) or pieces of conceptual knowledge that function as mental tools. The two are intertwined – for instance, “filing a bug” (reporting a flaw in a project) is a foundational concept, but it cannot be separated from the bugtracker a practitioner must use to do so, nor the processes that a particular community deems to be the “right way” of filing a bug. This is an important idea: there is no absolute, abstract "right way" to use a tool universally. (Brown et al., 1989, p. 33) The "right way" to use a tool is often the way the other people in your community use it in context. Simply thinking of tools as “out there as something for us to use as, you know, an artifact, not... a community for us to interact with,” as one professor described it (K. Wurst, personal communication, March 15, 2012), leads to a weakness in students' abilities to engage with the community they are supposedly training to become a part of. In order to discuss how students learn the use of tools, we must distinguish between a "learning curriculum" and a “teaching curriculum.” The former is a set of situated resources for the "improvisational development of new practice," viewed from the learners' point of view; open communities and other environments with cognitive apprenticeships are awash in learning curricula. In contrast, teaching curricula are presupplied structures for newcomers to go through for initial instruction. (Lave & Wenger, 1991, p. 97-98).
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For example, I am a swing and blues dancer. The dance community organizes regular events where intermediate and experienced dancers mix, talk, and teach each other in the thousands of tiny unplanned moments between dance partners that occur out in the middle of the floor. We study from a learning curriculum. However, we also have a beginner lesson before each dance for the neophytes; this is more structured, with an instructor calling out steps and leading learners through a series of preplanned moves that they can later use on the dance floor. The beginner lesson is a teaching curriculum. Formal higher education often gives students tools and runs them through a teaching curriculum to learn the basics of their use, but this does not guarantee students can use the tools in a production context, nor that they will use them before arriving in a production context at all. By the time a student graduates from college, they have a toolbox that is full of cobwebbed tools that they've forgotten their initial training on. Because of this, Brown et al (1989) have stated that “it is quite possible to acquire a tool but to be unable to use it.” Since concepts are always under construction, “any method that tries to teach abstract concepts independently of authentic situations overlooks the way understanding is developed though continued, situated use” (p. 33). It is not enough for a student to have memorized the formal definition of a bugtracker and to know, by rote, which buttons to click to create a new ticket. To be able to deploy this skill in way that is useful to their community, students must understand when to create a new ticket, what topics are appropriate, who to copy and contact on a new ticket, and all sorts of details that may vary dramatically across contexts. Two projects using the exact same bugtracking software tool may have different workflows and cultural norms surrounding its use. In a learning curriculum, the transparency of the technology enables this discovery, since “using artifacts and understanding their significance interact to become one learning process” (Lave & Wenger, 1991, p. 102-103). Misconception: the learning curriculum of school is the start of the apprenticeship that prepares students for the “real world.” Knowing and doing cannot be separated. Brown et al. (1989) introduce the two folk categories, “know what, “an intellectual storehouse of unapplied knowledge, and “know how,” the ability to carry out an action (p. 32). The distinction between the two is an artificial separation set up by the current educational system. Knowing is doing; we know what we do, and we do what we know. Therefore, if students do artificial preparatory exercises in a limited school environment, learn to navigate the culture of school rather than the culture of practice that school is supposed to prepare them to navigate. Lave and Wenger (1991) point out that the students in a typical physics class are not participating in the practice of physics (p. 99). Instead, they are participating in the practice of “how to pass the high school physics examination,” which involves activities that a university physics researcher would find useless towards their work: sharpening #2 pencils, learning guessing strategies for a multiple-choice test, swapping answers to textbook problems. In fact, the practice of students in a physics class can include activities a physics researcher would find downright harmful, including “how to guess what the teacher was thinking so you can get the right answer” (Collins et al., 1987, p. 23) or “how to disguise effective strategies so that teachers believe the problems have been solved in the approved way” (Brown et al., 1989, p. 36).
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This isn't to say that experts in a field don't do basic skills training or don't do drills - a pro tennis player will still practice serves in isolation, for instance, but they typically won't sit and memorize a manual full of the rules of tennis as part of their daily training routine. It is instructive to look at what experts do for their own skill development. In the case of our physics students, the student who starts a research position at a physics lab is participating, albeit peripherally, in the practice of physics as physics researchers practice it. Unfortunately, oftentimes we say that such a student “hasn't really learned physics” until he or she also completes the physics class – exactly the opposite of what we should say! Misconception: noise, uncertainty, and vagueness are always harmful to student learning. When we transfer an authentic, situated task into the classroom and transform it into a sterile, contextless thing, we usually say we're “cutting out the noise,” but that "noise" is actually a large part of the point; people need to be learning in context. (Brown et al., 1989, p. 34). This is like handing someone a Wikipedia page on a Shakespeare play and saying “I've just saved you so much time; now that you've read the plot, you don't need to go see the play!” The experience is the point, and the noise is exactly what students need to learn to deal with. As one professor explained: ...students that learn to cope with [uncertainty and vagueness] earlier on actually do better when they get out in the work world or even if they're go into graduate school... it's the students that want everything completely in black and white... that have problems with this kind of environment... This kind of an environment, this is what's gonna happen when you get out the door because nobody's going to teach you about whatever programming language or technology that you've got to learn. They're gonna say, “Do this.” And you're going to have to go learn it. (H. Ellis, personal communication, March 13, 2012)
Preview/spoiler: a summary of student and faculty evidence
The sections that follow describe the implications and evidence for open community participation's effects on both students and faculty. Open communities can be understood as communities of practice where students can experience situated cognition via engaging in legitimate peripheral participation in a learning curriculum. They are thrust directly into the real world of noise and chaos that professionals actually work in, and learn the use of tools in context from the beginning. Faculty then learn about open communities by watching their students do things the faculty members themselves have never done, which represents a significant classroom role reversal and creates opportunities to get professors to critically rethink their teaching practices. This in turn motivates faculty to learn more about education.
Tools and Environments
Setting realistic expectations of the "real world" Heidi Ellis explains one of her motivations for involving students in open projects as the ability to provide a gentle introduction to a professional community to students, who typically have a naive perception of what engineering in the real world will be like.
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I say to them, “Look, my goal in this course is to give you a real world experience.” And I said, “This is gonna be completely different from any other course you've taken.” ...one of the things that I wanted to do in class was have students be exposed to large, complex existing systems because that's what they're gonna get when they get out of the door typically. And so building a system from scratch is somewhat helpful but having to figure out somebody else's code and design, that's really more helpful. (H. Ellis, personal communication, March 13, 2012) By providing students with a way to calibrate their expectations of the “real world” while they are still in school, open communities lessen the jolt of the transition from student to practitioner – because students have already become practitioners while still in school. Learning as an inseparable combination of knowing and doing Lave and Wenger (1991) critique the conventional ways of talking about learning, which looks solely at the brain of the individual learner. This perspective assumes that knowledge is cerebral rather than embodied in the environment; it doesn't matter what context you're in, since your brain should operate the same way regardless of where you are. It also depicts knowledge as an inert thing that gets put in a learner's mind somehow, which simplifies the problem of learning down to transmission and assimilation (p. 47). Open communities reject this false dichotomy of knowing vs doing, turning hypotheticals of “in what situation would you do X” into concrete actions recognized as valid contributions by particular communities: “In which situation have you used X, will use X, have seen X used in practice?” Learning in this manner can have quite positive results. As Ellis described it: Now, I have a lot of confidence that they understand the process and how to operate in that process, as opposed to having this sort of book knowledge of, “Here are the steps.” I'm more comfortable that my students can now participate in the actual process. It may not have the exact vocabulary to describe exactly what they're doing, but at least they understand how to operate in that environment. (H. Ellis, personal communication, March 13, 2012) Learning the usage of tools in context Karl Wurst agrees, describing how students used their knowledge-in-action of how to ask questions in an open community in order to to get “training” on a tool from the community members themselves. Note the improvisational and customized nature of the interaction described below. The students created their own learning curriculum rather than needing a teaching curriculum on the same material to be created for them; which one do you think would be more meaningful? But they also got a lot of help with the tools from at least the one person in the community that they were talking to. I mean they learn how to use things like debug directly from the community people and they actually had a once a week meeting time, where they would actually sit through an IRC tutorial. (K. Wurst, personal communication, March 15, 2012) Open communities make their tools transparent. Transparency can mean the object itself is available for inspection, but it also encompasses being able to see the usage of that technology in context (Lave & Wenger, 1991, p. 101-102). Collins et al. (1987) noted that "...apprenticeship highlights methods for
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carrying out tasks in a domain” (p. 4). This phrasing is key. Apprenticeships give learners methods, and these methods must be carried out by tools in a domain of practice. Tools are only useful inasmuch as they are used to execute the practices of a community. Learning the importance of various tools Ironically, the most-used tools are often both the hardest to teach and the ones that are least-taught. Lave and Wenger (1991) explained this as the “duality of invisibility.” Objects-in-use “disappear” naturally into the environment they fit into, becoming invisible precisely because of their visibility. Important tools will be the most invisible; they're the ones taken for granted most often precisely because of their centrality (p. 103). They are, effectively, hidden in plain sight. Bringing new learners into a community uncovers the significance of the tools to both the students and the practitioners they're joining. Karl Wurst describes the starting state of his students before they began engaging in an open community. I wanted to have this being not just the working in teams, but learning how to use the tools that people use to work in teams, because that's something that we didn't do before. They never learned version control. They never learned any of the other kinds of collaboration and things like Wiki's and so on... (K. Wurst, personal communication, March 15, 2012) By the end of the semester, the same students had edited wikis and used version control in order to contribute to a project. What could have been a dry exercise in tool usage had turned into a rich experience of communication. Lave and Wenger (1991) explain that “...participation involving technology is especially significant because the artifacts used within a cultural practice carry a substantial portion of that practice's heritage... Thus, understanding the technology of a practice is more than learning to use tools; it is a way to connect with the history of the practice and to participate more directly in its cultural life” (p. 101). Becoming aware of the seamlessness of environments and tools as used by experts We discussed earlier how the most frequently-used tools in a community become taken for granted and blend seamlessly into the background of the environment. Actually, environments and tools are the same thing – perhaps they're names for two points along the same continuum, depending on how salient and visible the use of an object or a practice as an isolatable event tends to be. Tools are part of the environment, and environments can be used as tools, and this is especially obvious in open communities where the collaboration environments are often distributed spaces constructed from software tools; websites and wikis, chatrooms and channels. When students are doing situated tasks, they have the option of “off-loading part of the cognitive task onto the environment” (Brown et al., 1989, p. 35) which is of course what expert practitioners do all the time; we use our tools and our shortcuts. There's no need to remember the precise spelling of a command when you have tab-complete. Sometimes experts even deliberately make mistakes so they can get an error message that points them in the correct direction. This is part of the way experts become so efficient moving within their environment. The point to be made here is that students must be allowed to access the same resources in the same
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manner as experts in order to enable them to eventually perform at the same level as experts. “Though schooling seeks to encourage problem solving, it disregards most of the inventive heuristics that students bring to the classroom. It thus implicitly devalues not just individual heuristics, which may be fragile, but the whole process of inventive problem solving”(Brown et al., 1989, p. 36).
Transfer, abstraction, and motivation
Transferring concepts outside the classroom and across projects Experts often become so efficient with their environment that they become unable to execute their normal work outside of context. They won't be able to remember or describe things when they're standing outside their workplace, and so forth; their representations of the world are embedded in a particular context, and the knowledge learned within that context stays situated as well. Brown et al. (1989) call these “indexical representations,” and they point to the importance of designing for transfer, the ability to apply foundational knowledge across multiple contexts. Transfer is actually one of the greatest shortcomings of conventional, decontextualized forms of education. Collins et al. (1991) complain that “knowledge remains bound to surface features of problems as they appear in textbooks and class presentations” (p. 2) because students have learned the process situated only in the artificial context of school. It remains a shortcoming of apprenticeships as well, as a single apprenticeship only teaches learners how to be situated in one context. Instead, we want students to be able to decontextualize their learning and apply it more broadly (Collins et al., 1987, p. 7). The multiplicity of open communities makes this possible without too much additional overhead. As Collins et al. (1991) described it, “...learning in multiple contexts induces the abstraction of knowledge, so that students acquire knowledge in a dual form, both tied to the contexts of its uses and independent of any particular context” (p. 16). Students can do apprenticeships in multiple projects to develop their ability to abstract and generalize. Through a cognitive apprenticeship, students can progress from embedded activities to the general principles of a particular culture (Brown et al., 1989, p. 38-39). Through multiple cognitive apprenticeships, they can progress from the general principles of particular projects to the general principles of the much broader discipline all of these projects fit within. Transfer as a precursor to innovation Students working across multiple open communities have an unique opportunity to transfer practices from one open community to another, as well as transferring practices from academia to open communities and vice versa. William F. Hanks's foreword to Legitimate Peripheral Participation describes participants who “disengage before attaining mastery over core skills,” which is an almost universal depiction of a student apprentice – it is impossible to achieve mastery in a field during one's initial training period. Hanks explains that “in such cases, they may leave the learning context with some but not all of the relevant skills, transporting what they have learned into another context” (p. 19). Collins et al. (1991) discussed how “this unbinding of knowledge from a specific context fosters its transfer to new problems and new domains” (p. 16), an act often recognized by the recipients of that transfer as a meaningful and innovative contribution. This transforms the short-term status and high transfer and mobility rate of students from a liability to an asset. The students themselves get to
RADICAL REALTIME TRANSPARENCY practice the metacognitive skill of transferability and gain skill in pollinating ideas and engaging in new places, which will stand them in good stead in an economy where rapid job-shifting is now the norm. This skill of transfer often needs to be explicitly taught. Karl Wurst describes the initial failure of his students to recognize the opportunity to learn from other groups.
There was information that each group shared that should've been useful to the other groups, but the students didn't realize it because, I think it was a case of, “This is a totally different project, anything that they're doing has no bearing whatsoever on my project.” (K. Wurst, personal communication, March 15, 2012) Having parallel role structures across multiple groups can help students recognize opportunities for transfer. For instance, if each team designates one student as release manager, the parallels in release management across projects will become more salient to those students, just as the parallels in documentation processes across projects will become more salient to students designated as documentation leaders for their team. Brown et al. (1989) notes another benefit of such arrangements: groups permit students to see many different hats and roles in action simultaneously, even if they themselves can only assume one hat at any given time (p. 40). Transfer thus occurs both across projects and within teams. Of course, this sort of transfer occurs during group projects that do not involve open communities as well, but the benefits of transfer tend to be limited to the students in those circumstances. In contrast, transfer in open communities actually benefits the entire community, which learns alongside the students because of the public documentation of their thinking processes. Making visible contributions is motivating The ability to affect a real professional project is, naturally, tremendously motivating. Collins et al. (1991) expanded on this, explaining that apprenticeships are motivating because students can see the value of the finished product they're working on (p. 3). At every step along the way, it is clear where one's contributions fit into the bigger picture of actually providing value to the world: “...apprentices learn [their craft] not in a special, segregated learning environment, but in a busy [workplace]... they are expected, from the beginning, to engage in activities that contribute directly to... production...” (Collins et al., 1987, p. 22) The question “why do we have to do this again?” is never asked, because the answer is obvious. This does not magically turn all students into intrisically-motivated, bright and energized contributors. Open communities are not a magic wand; the bell-curve distribution of student engagement is still apparent. However, the radical transparency of open communities does seem to raise the minimum level of activity, pushing with extrinsic motivation when intrinsic doesn't work. As Professor Fardad Soleimanloo explained it, “even [the] worst students at least do some work during the semester. Since everything is open for everyone to see, they become embarrassed and start working on their task.” (F. Soleimanloo, personal communication, December 1, 2010) Sumana Harihareswara, volunteer development coordinator at Wikimania, speculated that students are more careful about submitting polished work when they know their work will be viewable and associated with their name in public in perpetuity. (S. Harihareswara, personal communication, April 27, 2012)
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Access and identity
Access and lurking – you can't understand what you can't see “Cognitive apprenticeship is a model of instruction that works to make thinking visible,” and differs from conventional formal schooling in that apprentices are able to see the process of work (Collins et al., 1991, p. 1) The idea of cognitive apprenticeships was inspired by traditional, hands-on craft apprenticeships: woodworking, midwifery, life on-board a Navy ship. Lave and Wenger (1991) explain it this way: [Through being absorbed in the community of practices, apprentices learn] “...who is involved; what they do; what everyday life is like; how masters talk, walk, work, and generally conduct their lives; how people who are not part of the community of practice interact with it; what other learners are doing; and what learners need to learn to become full practitioners. It includes an increasing understanding of how, when, and about what old-times collaborate, collude, and collide, and what they enjoy, dislike, respect, and admire.” The difference between cognitive and traditional apprenticeship is that cognitive apprenticeship focuses on cognitive and metacognitive, not physical, skills (Collins et al. 1987, p. 5-6). “...in traditional apprenticeship, the process of carrying out a task to be learned is usually easily observable. In cognitive apprenticeship... the teacher's thinking must be made visible to the students and the student's thinking must be made visible to the teacher.” (Collins et al., 1991, p. 3) It is easy to see one's master cutting out a bolt of cloth; it is harder to “see” what is involved in a master's process when, for instance, they are thinking through the solution of a math problem. “Applying apprenticeship methods to largely cognitive skills requires the externalization of processes that are usually carried out internally... to bring these tacit processes into the open” (Collins et al., 1987, p. 6). However, the radically transparency practices of open communities mean these tacit processes are already in the open; revealing the process behind your work is a prerequisite for participating in the practice; a writer who refuses to engage in revisions of his or her wiki article is not viewed as a full member of the community, even if their finished writing may be factually perfect. The contributor who does not blog about their ongoing code design thinking or show up and answer questions in an IRC (chat) channel is much less likely to get their contributions (and themselves) accepted. The motivation behind the maintenance of such a transparent culture is typically one of access. Open communities are communities of practice that rely on a distributed network of contributors who are not governed by the same central body; they may be volunteers, or represent dozens or even hundreds of companies who pay employees to contribute to a commons. Because of this, making it as easy as possible to become a full member of the community is vital to the survival of an open project. As Lave and Wenger (1991) point out, “To become a full member of a community of practice requires access to a wide range of ongoing activity, old-timers, and other members of the community; and to information, resources, and opportunities for participation” (p. 100-101). Thus, all these things – updates on ongoing activities and the ability to contribute to them, access to mentorship and the ability to have one's work shared with and recognized by the community – are environmental design concerns
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from day 1. Good open communities design their infrastructures in a way that minimizes the disparity caused by languages, timezones, access to the latest technology (communication mechanisms are often based on older, lower-bandwidth infrastructure), and part-time contribution vs full-time employment. The existence of an unfairly privileged core is a recipe for everyone outside that privileged core to rapidly withdraw themselves and their ongoing contributions, so enabling a part-time hobbyist in the developing world to stand on equal footing as a full-time engineer in Silicon Valley allows the project to tap into a vastly larger pool of potential contributors. This access is provided via the practice of radical transparency. If it isn't public and online in a format where even the least-privileged contributors (in terms of time and access to technology) can see and modify it, it doesn't count. Because of this, no further “uncovering” is required as an extra step designed solely for the benefit of new learners in the domain. In short, the radical transparency practices of open communities result, by default, in the type of “uncovering” and annotation of mental processes necessary for cognitive apprenticeships. Teachers facilitate students learning from more than one master One clear advantage open communities have over conventional classroom instruction is the mentorstudent ratio, which is often greater than 1:1 (that is, each student is supported by multiple mentors). Note that this is a mentor-student ratio, not a teacher-student ratio; while those with greater mastery over the domain often assist in the learning process of multiple apprentices, they frequently do not take long-term responsibility for overseeing learning the same way a teacher does. This implies that one of the responsibilities of a teacher is to orchestrate things so that their students may take advantage of the opportunity to learn from the wealth of mentors around them. As Heidi Ellis put it: ...they will learn if I let them go and sort of guide them in learning, they will learn so much more than if I teach them. And I don't know all of the ins and outs, the technical details of projects and I didn't want to be the limiting factor in learning. So, if I could find a way to get them involved in the community, I was comfortable knowing that I could structure the experience, provide the milestones, bound the problems well enough that if I can get them to learn from the community, they would just learn so much more. (H. Ellis, personal communication, March 13, 2012) The dynamics of mentors and apprentices within a community vary widely. As discussed in Lave and Wenger (1991), there may be a 1:1 pairing of masters and apprentices, or there may not be; students may be formally “matched” to mentors, or they may not be. Apprenticeship terms and responsibilities may be of a pre-determined nature or duration, or they may be more ad-hoc, but even in the most formal and individually-matched cases, apprentices learn from their peers and the remainder of the community and not their master alone (p. 91-92). Collins (1987) notes that “the availability of multiple masters may help learners realize that even experts have different styles and ways of doing things and different special aptitudes” (p. 22). Learning as an incremental process The discussion of Collins et al. (1987) of how successful cognitive apprenticeships include access to watching other learners at different stages, not just masters (p. 5), echoes the description of communities of practice in Lave and Wenger (1991) as being far more complex than a simple teacher-
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learner binary. A community of practice is full of practitioners at all different stages along the journey of learning, affording participants the opportunity to simultaneously be mentor and mentee in a complex web of interrelations (p. 56-57), Since “members are visible participants in the target skills... learners have continual access to models of expertise-in-use” (Collins et al., 1987, p. 5). Seeing multiple models of expertise and other learners at different stages in the process encourages students to see learning as a series of incremental stages (Collins et al., 1991, p. 2). If we want to help students eventually become experts, we need to have a better understanding of what experts do, how they learn and think, so students can gradually move towards approximating that goal (Collins et al., 1987, p. 4). Note the use of the word “approximating” in the previous quote – as opposed to “exactly achieving.” Apprentices are not expected to get complex processes correct independently on the first try; their successive approximations are accepted with finer and finer precision expected over time, just as we enthusiastically encourage a baby to babble “dada” with the foreknowledge that they will be expected to correctly pronounce “daddy” by the time they reach toddlerhood. mistakes are normal Collins et al. (1987) points out that mistake-making is part of the expert process, and that realistic depictions of expert performance must include “struggles, false starts, discouragement, and the like” (p. 12). Experts make mistakes, but they have heuristics to recover from them. Unfortunately, “...textbook strategies and classroom demonstrations generally illustrate only the successful solution path, not the search space that contains all of the deadend attempts,” causing them to “hold naive beliefs about the nature of expert [performance], thinking that [the task] is a smooth and easy process for 'good' [performers]. Live modeling helps to convey that this is not the case”(Collins et al., 1991, p. 11; p. 8). Cognitive apprenticeships help set student expectations of “what it really takes” to do a certain kind of work; essays aren't magically written in one pass, experts read books multiple times and take notes, and so forth. (Collins et al., 1987, p. 8). “Witnessing these struggles helps students realize that thrashing is neither unique to them nor a sign of incompetence” (Collins et al., 1991, p. 11). They also help students develop the boldness to “fail in the open” (K. Wurst, personal communication, March 15, 2012), which allows others to help them more quickly. Learning to “speak” in a community's language Jordan's 1989 paper (as cited in Lave & Wenger, 1991, p. 105) argued that “learning to become a legitimate participant in a community involved learning how to talk and be silent in the manner of full participants.” Getting students through the process of learning to speak as a full member of a community of practice can be a challenge, but it's an important thing to learn, since “it's very rare that people get to design all the requirements themselves and that they don't have to report to anybody” (K. Wurst, personal communication, March 15, 2012). As Lave and Wenger (1991) described it, “the purpose is not to learn from talk as a substitute for legitimate peripheral participation; it is to learn to talk as a key to legitimate peripheral participation,” since “viewing learning as LPP means that learning is not merely a condition for membership, but is itself an evolving form of membership” (p. 109; p. 53). As students gain “understanding about when to ask question, how to ask questions, self-learning, how [to] find that information on your own, pick it up, use it, incorporate it,” (H. Ellis, personal communication, March 13, 2012), they build self-
RADICAL REALTIME TRANSPARENCY identities as doers, gradually generating “a view that matches more closely the [community] model, eventually producing skilled testimony in public meetings and gaining validation from others as they demonstrate the appropriate understanding” (Lave & Wenger, 1991, p. 106).
Shifting roles and changing communities
Learning metacognitive skills: self-monitoring and reflections We have been discussing the ways in which open communities can be understood as communities of practice where students can partake in cognitive apprenticeships. These apprenticeships give students the support they need to stay within their zone of proximal development while engaging in legitimate peripheral participation. William F. Hanks, in the foreword to Wenger and Lave (1991), describes the “learner who participates in the actual process of an expert, but only to a limited degree and with limited responsibility for the ultimate product as a whole” (p. 14). This partial scaffolding of student activity gives them breathing space for metacognition on the real tasks they are performing, and it is that metacognition we will examine in this section; learning how to learn, gaining the ability to adapt oneself to the future, and being able to demonstrate evidence of these capabilities to others are all important skills. In contrast to the top-down nature of work assigned in the teaching environment of a conventional classroom, projects in open communities are self-directed; even novices are expected to choose work to assign themselves, and keep themselves on track towards their goals. This level of self-direction requires a high degree of self-monitoring ability. Fortunately, the nature of participation in open communities results in the creation of external artifacts with a high degree of granularity, and these artifacts assist the student in scaffolding themselves further. As Collins et al. (1987) pointed out, externalization aids students in monitoring the progress of a task; in learning to self-monitor and selfcorrect, apprentices switch between the “analysis” and “doing” modes of thinking until they come to recognize their knowing and their doing as inseparable. It is important for students to get in the habit of building and understanding these artifacts of their practice because they will need to explain their past selves and their future potential to prospective employers for the rest of their lives. In the words of Heidi Ellis: What I wanted to do there was get students a real exposure to real world software development. And I wanted to do it in a way that would give them evidence of what they've done. So if I'd taken a project that was belonging to a company, the likelihood would have been that it would have been opaque; that the company would've known what the student had done but the student would not have been able to turn around and demonstrate what they've done to other potential employers. Since the other participants in an open community also generate the same sorts of artifacts, and the artifacts from others are visible and accessible to the public, students are able not only to “consider their reflections as data from an experiment to find out what they think” (Collins et al., 1987, p. 11), but to learn from examples of others self-monitoring. This observation “aids learners in developing a conceptual model of the target task or process prior to attempting to execute it... provides an interpretative structure for making sense of the feedback... [and] encourages autonomy in what we call
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reflection” (Collins et al., 1987, p. 5). Similarly, the culture of peer review forces students to synthesize formative feedback from multiple, often-conflicting angles instead of simply accepting summative feedback from a single instructor. Role shifts: newcomers transform into old-timers Another key feature of open communities is their rapid cycle time compared to other “real world” project experiences. A typical release cycle might be 6 months from start to finish, in contrast with the multi-year cycle of a commercial product. This allows students to rapidly become “experienced” members of the community and to play the expert mentor role themselves before graduation, if they wish. Faculty members can take advantage of this while simultaneously reducing their teaching load. Listen to Heidi Ellis explain her strategy: We didn't want to reinvent the wheel and have them have to learn on their own. And we want to be able to build on step on the shoulders of previous people. So I just said, “Okay. You have to document everything that you've done.” (H. Ellis, personal communication, March 13, 2012) By having the students document their learning for the next semester's class, Prof. Ellis set up a reflective experience for the completing students and a near-peer mentoring experience for the incoming ones. Students can transform the communities as newcomers Open communities are communities of practice that allow novices to legitimately engage in the full duality of participation and reification from their first day. The socially-constructed nature of processes in open communities is made explicit by the display of historical revisions of a given set of instructions, often with explicit instructions to modify the current version as needed. In the words of Collins et al. (1987), these artifacts “give students the opportunity to observe, engage in, and invent or discover expert strategies in context.” Note the use of the word “invent” above, meaning that students are able to shape the practice of a field even as neophytes. “Legitimate peripheral participation refers both to the development of knowledgeably skilled identities in practice and to the reproduction and transformation of communities of practice” (Lave & Wenger, 1991, p. 55). In other words, legitimate peripheral participation in an open community trains newcomers, but also shapes the future of that project. One example was given by Karl Wurst, who pointed out that the project his students contributed to initially did not have an adequate infrastructure for participation. As the conversation progressed, it emerged that the appearance of his students had triggered that realization on the part of the project's core team, and that participation infrastructure was being set up for future newcomers as a result – a tremendous boon for the open community. (K. Wurst, personal communication, March 15, 2012)
The effects on faculty
Some of the most surprising outcomes of involving students with open communities are the
RADICAL REALTIME TRANSPARENCY transformations that happen not to the students, but to their teachers. We will discuss the facultyspecific evidence and implications in the sections that follow. Faculty: learning the proper use of tools in context
Professors are worried about not having sufficient technical background to guide students in a realworld project such as those in open communities. As one professor put it, “the rate of change is so fast in technology, and my job is to take all this information in and figure out how to get it into a form that students can understand” (H. Ellis, personal communication, March 13, 2012). Another faculty member agreed: “I don't understand how industry does this stuff well enough. I feel kind of weird preparing students go out and work in this environment that I haven't really worked in, not in the same way that they're going to.” He continued: “By the end of this class, I still expect that I will have less contributor experience than my students do in some ways.” (K. Wurst, personal communication, March 15, 2012) This disconnect of professors from practice is not a necessary aspect of a professional discipline. Karl Wurst went on to point out that in other professional fields, such as medicine, it would be unthinkable for a teacher to not be an active practitioner – whereas engineering faculty will commonly not have any “industry practice” experience at all, let alone a current practice. “The people in occupational therapy and things like that have actually... They actually have practices, right? ...and so they know how to do this stuff because they've actually had... They've had to actually go out and do external placements in hospitals and things like that as students and then have done that stuff... We [in engineering] don't do that.” (K. Wurst, personal communication, March 15, 2012) Engineering faculty are just as hungry for real-world experience as their students are. As Karl Wurst expressed, “I would almost like to spend my next sabbatical working in a software development environment.” Later in the interview, he explained that he'd been considering contributing to open source as an alternative to doing a sabbatical in industry (K. Wurst, personal communication, March 15, 2012). In fact, Dr. Wurst had been watching his students model for him the process of participating in a project as a newcomer – what he was expressing was the desire to follow in their footsteps, a complete role reversal! Flipping the role of faculty The experience of Karl Wurst serves as an answer to William F. Hanks's question: “How do the masters of apprentices themselves change through acting as colearners?” (Lave & Wenger, 1991, p. 15) In the context of an open community, the instructor responsible for an apprentice's learning needs to know what expert performance means, but the instructor does not need to be an expert performer. As Collins et al. (1991) explain it: Cognitive apprenticeship does not require that the teacher permanently assume the role of "expert" - in fact, we would imagine that the opposite should happen. Teachers need to encourage students to explore questions the teacher cannot answer, to challenge solutions the "experts" have found - in short, to allow the role of "expert" and "student" to be transformed. Cognitive apprenticeship encourages the student to become the expert." (p. 17)
RADICAL REALTIME TRANSPARENCY Heidi Ellis is careful to make this role reversal explicit to her students.
I tell them right up front, "I don't have all the answers. I don't know where we're gonna be at the end of the semester." Then I tell them, "But it's okay because we're gonna do this together. I understand how to reasonably scope and how to make reasonable expectations." So, it's a huge trust thing. (H. Ellis, personal communication, March 13, 2012) Faculty: making teaching about thinking visible Although faculty learn how to do research within their research community's discipline of practice, and continue to participate in that community via publications and conferences, they are often left to teach in siloed isolation. As Heidi Ellis describes it: It's your class, you are the king or queen of your class, you do what you do in your class and there isn't really... The only real form of evaluation, in most places here included, is the student evaluation. So the culture of having somebody just sit in and observe is very, very foreign to many places. (H. Ellis, personal communication, March 13, 2012) Since open community participation exposes the workings of one's classroom to the world, it becomes that much easier for teachers to watch each others at work. Dr. Ellis described what it was like to be able to watch, via the window of an open source project, into the class of a colleague at another institution. That's been really different. It's been fun to be able to talk to him about that and be able to... He thinks a lot about his teaching, and what works and what doesn't work, and he has really good ideas. And so, to be able to hear him work through the same issues, and sort of talk back and forth, has been incredibly wonderful. One of the coolest things, though, is when he dumps his students [in a chatroom] and I get to look and see what his students... I mean, it's like such fun. It's like such a good time because it's like I'm peripherally participating in his class, do you know? (H. Ellis, personal communication, March 13, 2012) Peripheral participation allows faculty who are new to a particular teaching style or technique to watch it in action as they build confidence in their own abilities. What [co-teaching FOSS with other professors] let me do is, for several years, be an observer and be peripherally involved but I didn't jump right in. (H. Ellis, personal communication, March 13, 2012) Individual teachers “overhearing” each others' work quickly builds momentum into a disciplinary community centered around a common type of teaching. Here, Heidi Ellis describes how she feels about participating in one such group: There's now, I think, enough mass of people who have done this in enough different environments that I would feel really comfortable running any new idea I had by that community to get feedback and I think we can handle newbies now pretty easily. People are just getting started. We have enough instances and templates of people who have done it to say, “Here, go look at this...” I can ask a question and get advice, get input that we're supporting and
RADICAL REALTIME TRANSPARENCY screening newbies, and those new ideas are being generated in that environment. (H. Ellis, personal communication, March 13, 2012) Faculty: transfer and abstraction
As faculty members watch other professors teach, they learn to become more reflective about their own teaching experiences and practices. One interviewee expressed that they were not naturally inclined to practice the reflective habits they espoused to their students and that blogging had made them more reflective. They also mentioned that the experience of seeing their teaching practices and the practices of other faculty revealed in the artifacts automatically generated by open community participation had led to the development of their abilities to coach and mentor others through the process of teaching. (H. Ellis, personal communication, March 13, 2012) This should not be surprising. When faculty members begin reflecting on their teaching practices, they naturally need vocabularies and concepts to do so – which makes an excellent opportunity to introduce concepts from the field of education in a natural and situated way. Astute readers may have noticed how the faculty interviews in this paper come from STEM professors with no formal education background – and yet these faculty members are using terms like “peripheral participation” as if it were the most normal thing in the world. They find these education concepts useful to describe and understand the things they are already trying to do, as in the excerpt below: Professor: I started by saying, “Okay, you got to know about the spiral model, you got to know about waterfall model, you got to know a bit about agile.” And then I've revamped that and thought “No, you need to understand what a software process is, and experience that, so know it internally as opposed to being able to restate the tenets.” Interviewer: I think you're talking about climbing higher up Bloom's taxonomy here. Professor: I think so, yes. (H. Ellis, personal communication, March 13, 2012) In this excerpt, we can see the introduction of Bloom's taxonomy into the discussion as the interviewer guides the professor through their zone of proximal development to use the appropriate pedagogical terminology in the discussion; clearly the professor had encountered the term before, but the knowledge was inert – it had not yet registered that such a term would be appropriate to use in such a context.
Implications for structuring learning experiences in open communities
In this section, we will discuss what faculty may want to consider when designing a learning experience for their students that involves open community participation. Global before local Collins et al. (1987) suggest designing apprenticeship activities so that they progress from:
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1. less complex to more complexity; this is fairly self-explanatory. 2. using fewer skills to using a wider diversity skills. To use a musical analogy, it's the difference between strumming “Mary had a little lamb” on the guitar, which requires the musician to alternate between 2 chords, and playing the solo on Led Zeppelin's “Stairway to Heaven,” which has tricky chord changes, shifts keys, and requires dexterity on the melodic line as well as a knowledge of harmony. 3. global to local, so students see the big picture before focusing on detailed parts. This is the reason we now teach intro programming in high-level languages; we want to develop computational thinking before the ability to do memory management. Another implementation of the “global before local” principle is to have students begin their apprenticeships by lurking in open communities, then summarizing their existing activities via producing process documentation, then focusing in on producing a certain new artifact. This gives students a bigpicture view of how it all fits together so they see how their small contribution fits into the grand schema. Classroom techniques can improve on an open community apprenticeship So far, we have mostly discussed how open community apprenticeships have advantages over conventional formal schooling. Here we will discuss the advantages schools tend to have over open communities – advantages that can be “gifted” from a participating classroom into the community they are working with. As discussed by Collins et al. (1987), the “get a real thing done” focus that provides apprenticeships with so many of their benefits can also be suboptimal when they relegate the learning of apprentices to secondary importance compared to the production of product. One suboptimal part of traditional apprenticeships is that apprentices get to practice the jobs that need to be done, not necessarily what they need to learn (p. 6). Similarly, Wenger and Lave (1991) are careful to point out that apprenticeships are not always effective, well-designed, or positive learning experiences; sometimes apprentices are made to learn and do redundant tasks not useful to their career growth, and sometimes they are hazed to the point where many drop out before completing their training (p. 76-79). In contrast, programs within a school can be designed around the learner's needs, but create an artificial world that may not “create a culture of expert practice for students to participate in, and aspire to, as well as devise meaningful benchmarks and incentives for progress” (Collins et al., 1987, p. 7). The presence of a classroom instructor acting as an intermediary between a student-apprentice and an open community provides a compromise; although the open community as a whole may be focused on production, a teacher can maintain a focus on student learning within the context of production. Since the actions of contributors to an open community are logged and made available, the scaffolding a teacher provides to his or her students actually becomes available to all new contributors to that community, whether or not they are part of the class. In this way, a single instructor can inadvertently improve the on-boarding process for an entire open community, simply by focusing on on-boarding his or her students as well as possible.
The radical transparency practices of open communities result in the type of “uncovering” and
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annotation of mental processes necessary for cognitive apprenticeships. In fact, open communities can be understood as communities of practice where students can experience situated cognition via engaging in legitimate peripheral participation. This allows novices to legitimately engage in the full duality of participation and reification from their first day. Open communities scaffold their cognitive apprentices so they can stay within their zone of proximal development while engaging in legitimate peripheral participation, instead of separating the two as frequently occurs in conventional instruction. And these benefits are not limited to students – faculty can find their practices and self-understanding transformed as well.
In the introduction to this paper, we expressed the aspiration that it could be a “translator” that could help explain academic and open communities to each other. There is clearly plenty of work to be done in this area – for example, this paper could (and probably should) be rewritten as two papers, one for each audience: teachers and open community members. As it stands, it's an awkward hybrid that tries to serve both populations simultaneously. A library of case studies would also be a major contribution towards a clearer understanding of how to bridge the cultural gap. Illustrating both theoretical concepts (cognitive apprenticeships, scaffolding, peripheral participation, etc) and open community practices with case studies from actual classroom engagements with open projects would give participants from both sides something concrete to refer to.
Brown, J. S., Collins, A., & Duguid, P. (1989). Situated cognition and the culture of learning. Educational Researcher, 18(1), 32–42. Collins, A., Brown, J. S., & Holum, A. (1991). Cognitive apprenticeship: Making thinking visible. American Educator, 6, 38–46. Collins, A., Brown, J. S., & Newman, S. E. (1987). Cognitive apprenticeship: Teaching the craft of reading, writing, and mathematics (Research Report No. 403). Center for the Study of Reading Technical Reports. Champaign, IL: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Lave, J., & Wenger, E. (1991). Situated learning : Legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge, U.K.; New York: Cambridge University Press. Wenger, E. (1999). Communities of practice : Learning, meaning, and identity. Cambridge, U.K.; New York: Cambridge University Press.