NOTE: This is a full archive for the Project Community: You & The World (2012) please see the main site for the most up to date information.

Archives For Announcements

Preparation for WEEK 4!

Please everybody, read the syllabus for this week and take notice that you will have to prepare some work before Wednesday’s meeting!

Posted in Announcements

What is Your Theory of Change

Today I interviewed Beth Kanter for our short video for week six on evaluation. But in our conversation, it became clear that we need to pay attention to evaluate BEFORE we reach the end. She pointed to a blog post about “Theory of Change” which may be a useful frame as you plan your projects. You can find the blog post here:

If you want a sneak preview of her video, you can find it here:



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Posted in Announcements, Faculty

Curious about page views on your blog here on the Project Community Site?

On Wednesday we talked about comments on blogs and how they did or did not matter to us.

I looked at the stats yesterday and created a PDF so you can see if any of your posts had views.  Is this important to you? Or not? WordPressstatsasofSept26

Posted in Announcements, Faculty

Preparing for the 3rd week

Hi Projcommers,

To prepare for today’s conversation, we suggest you to dive into the following links:

The Dunbar Number as a Limit to Group Sizes

Community by the Numbers, Part One

Community by the Numbers, Part Two


Posted in Announcements

Week 2: to read and to listen

In addition to the talks which are recommended for the second week’s conversation (see syllabus > week 2),  we encourage you not to miss the following materials from the resource list:

Posted in Announcements

Week One Updates and One FYI

A view from my office window

Hi all – waving from sunny Seattle. Three things to share:

1. Tumblr Blog Post/Reflections

I am enjoying digging into your week 1 reflections. I wanted to let you know I’m reading all of them and ONLY THIS WEEK I’m trying to reply to everyone. It is neither scalable nor sustainable for me to reply to everyone all the time. More importantly, I don’t think it is a useful practice for the duration of a course.

Your blog reflections are intended to help you “think out loud” with each other, and in view of the wider world, in case others have ideas, questions or comments. It is not about “pleasing” the teachers/tutors or having a conversation with us. The conversation is much wider.

The reason I do comment in the first week is because I’m so far away, I want to make at least some small initial personal connection with you.  To connect your ideas to your blog name to YOU!

Just like I invite you to comment on my blog in the Faculty tab. To CONNECT. But after this week I’m going to stay out of the way unless you specifically invite me into your conversation. Then I’ll jump in, because I LOVE this topic. OK?

From a “grading” perspective, we are looking for the quality of your thinking — and that includes how you use wins and mistakes, how you ask good questions, how you deal with frustrations and challenges and how you use each other, your communities and networks in your learning. After all, this is what the course is about, right? 🙂

2. Adaptive Improvements to the Site

Were you a little confused with the site this week? I was. We made our best design thinking and guesses up front, and now we adapt. A few adaptations I want to bring to your attention.

  • On the home page on the lower right there is a link to RSS subscriptions for Announcements and All posts. I highly recommend you subscribe to the Announcements. If you need help figuring out what RSS means — use your communities and networks and figure it out. We are also here to help, but we don’t want to make assumptions about what you do/don’t know!
  • We have restructured the Syllabus pages so there will be ONE page per week with all the assignments. Shahab and I will also highlight the week’s reading (which is currently missing. Sorry!)
  • When we refer to online discussions – at least for now- we mean using the comment feature at the end of each week’s syllabus page. So for example, this week’s discussion on what a designer needs should be answered at the bottom of the page. (Yeah, it is pretty quiet so far and I wondered if we all knew what was expected and HOW! Incremental learning! Oops, my mistake. I realized I missed the messages. I need to take my own advice about subscribing!)
  • Reminder – you need to share a url of where we faculty can see your group work. Again, post it in the comments of the week’s syllabus page.
  • If you have any questions, use our lovely Q&A page or approach any of the faculty. The advantage of asking on the Q&A page is that someone else may have the same question and benefit from the answer.  Again, learning in public!
  • We have a start to the Glossary, and intend that this is a collaborative process. So join in!
  • Weekly live meetings notes are here and links to the Facebook group etc are starting to show up in the upper right of all pages. The YouTube channel will be linked there as soon as it is underway.

3. Always iterating, learning and improving

I’m sure there are still things to improve and processes to clarify. We’ll get there — particularly if you tell us what you need AND give us ideas about how to fulfill that need. Better yet, that you DO it. We want to role model the power of communities and networks at every turn, not just TALK about their value.

Thanks for a GREAT first week!



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Posted in Announcements, Faculty

The Power of Confusion in Learning

Today with our first online/offline blended class, the concept of confusion was very present. I had told Laura on Skype before we started that confusion is exactly the place we want to be in week one. Then, in a lovely moment of “kismet” a friend posted something super relevant in a blog comment conversation that I’ve been involved in the last few days. (You might enjoy the blog post and especially the comments that follow it here.) Here is the quote:


Hi Nancy – re confusion – I listened to Eric Mazur’s opening keynote presentation to the ALT-C 2012 conference yesterday (they have not yet posted the recording, but Eric Mazur has posted his slides on his website (

In his research (he is a physicist) he found that confused students are twice as likely to be correct when answering a test question as those who claim not to be confused, that confusion doesn’t correlate with understanding, is not necessarily the result of poor teaching and is part of the learning process – in fact he said an ‘essential’ part of the learning process.

He also said that teaching should be based on questioning (can’t remember his exact words), and that although confusion is discouraging – ‘to wonder is to begin to understand’.

All this was backed up with numerous graphs and data. It was a fascinating session and it was great to see what I have always thought of as the legitimacy of ‘messy learning’ backed up with scientific data.

Hope your session goes well.


It sure seemed to me that the questions you asked on our meetingwords pad were REALLY useful and generative. How are you going to use your confusion positively?

Posted in All Students, Announcements

A first look at the “five themes”

To help you get started, I created a short video to brief you on the five themes we have used to structure our exploration of communities and networks in service of innovative and open design engineering. Take a look, the add any comments or reflections if you are interested!

The Five Themes We Are Exploring

Posted in Announcements, Themes

How to Get Ready

cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo by demandaj:

This will be an announcement for the class, we use the (big surprise) Announcements category.

And we might link to the work for this week

Posted in Announcements