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2 Evolving design patterns in a wiki

Page history last edited by elaw 15 years, 5 months ago

2. Discussion of patterns and wiki format for evolving and sharing knowledge of international collaboration:


It seems intuitive to build on diverse expertise and varying cultural contexts in the design community to evolve knowledge about intercultural teamwork in design. However, it is up for debate in which format such community knowledge could possibly be shared and evolved. This is critically discussed including the following questions:


-    Does the design pattern format allow for evolving knowledge about cross-cultural collaboration? Would other formats be more appropriate? Which perspectives should also be considered?


The pattern format gives a strong framework for observing problems and solutions simultaneously. I previously underestimated the power of the section ‘Forces’. In a collaborative pattern workshop I discovered that forces that lead to resolving a problem are the major ‘glue’ that keeps the problem and solution together. In fact forces are the balancing factors that lead to discovering a solution. It is often difficult to see a solution to a known problem or to recognize the underlying problem to a recurring solution. Forces bring those loose ends together. In the current collection, the sections ‘forces’ and ‘breakdowns’ are separate sections. I would consider them merging. 

I also believe that original context and resulting context are very important parts of patterns that allow seeing a system of related patterns. I would argue, that designers of complex socio-technical systems, such as collaborative learning environments, need taking on a holistic view in design. This is supported by the collection of related patterns. Designers also need to know in which context solutions are more appropriate than others. For example, using the patterns collection presented above we could see that a collaboration support system for Hong Kong/Taiwanese design teams would include a face-to-face kick off meeting, extensive synchronous communication support and virtual group tutorials. A collaborative environment in Hong Kong/Austrian collaboration would look very different, including extensive asynchronous communication support, virtual group homes and probably even local team homes.








-    Does the wiki format support the emergence of a Community World for evolving design patterns? What would be the alternative?


I strongly believe that a community approach to pattern evolution is the right way to evolve patterns for international learning environments. It is important that patterns are developed in collaboration with peers, who had similar experiences. In order to believe in patterns and regard them useful tools for knowledge sharing they need to be accepted by the community. This kind of ‘ownership’ can only be achieved when the community developed patterns together. Therefore, a wiki should be an appropriate format.



Effie: Again with the Camp experience, I can't give a conclusive answer to this question.  For instance, one student group tried out Google Group but became highly dissatisfied with some of its features, and, with the persuasive arguments of the facilitator, they shifted to wiki as their collaborative space, where they shared their design ideas. On the contrary, one group was very happy with Google Group, which provided them a sense of group belongingness, they adhered to this tool without considering other alternatives. Nonetheless, it is hard to conclude whether the tool such as wiki directly influences the quality of the collaborative artefact such as design patterns, or the influence is mediated by how strong the tool actually enhances the community feeling among its users.




-    Can the Wiki enhance the ability of the design community of practice to communicate with each other, and if so, how?


I was part of a Pattern Language Network experiment. Researchers organized a local workshop to evolve patterns of distance learning. A case study or observation of an e-learning event was posted to the wiki before the workshop. The observations where then discussed in the local workshop. The participants discussed common experiences. Pattern beginnings evolved naturally and quickly. These were captured in the wiki again.








-    Is the distinction between Author World and Community world helpful or limiting in evolving knowledge of cross-cultural collaboration?


 I am uncertain about making distinctions between pattern authors and a community that evolves them further. Author and community might better be one. I read about the successful practise of experienced pattern scouts that support a community in identifying patterns. A community should evolve patterns from within not only change given patters. That is also why I see a problem with the current wiki. One person developed patterns. Others do not have ownership, which makes it more difficult to develop patterns further.








-    Are there other ways of evolving knowledge about cross-cultural collaboration?


Comments (4)

GLIDE08 visitor said

at 8:45 am on Oct 21, 2008

Does the design pattern format allow for evolving knowledge about cross-cultural collaboration? Would other formats be more appropriate? Which perspectives should also be considered?

Yes, i think it does - because it allows the identification of patterns across the world to be acknowledged, discussed and slotted in where appropriate. It also allows the addition of other information which may not form a pattern, but will be of equal value to readers - for example one of these ‘Know me better’ is very important I think - again it comes down to facilitating an emotional bond with another collaborator. Without this, participants may lose interest.

Jane Osmond, Coventry University

GLIDE08 visitor said

at 8:58 am on Oct 21, 2008

Can the Wiki enhance the ability of the design community of practice to communicate with each other, and if so, how?
Yes – as reported in Osmond (2008) Lave and Wenger’s (1991) Community of Practice (CoP) Theory proposes a social theory of learning that contextualises the process as being part of our ‘lived experience of participation in the world’, rather than as an individual process. So, learning takes place as a deepening process of participation in a CoP and identities are thus formed from this participation. It is the emphasis on practice, defined as ‘the source of coherence of a community.’ (IBID 49) which distinguishes a CoP from, for example, a community of interest, and includes the negotiation of both explicit and tacit knowledge and information. The latter - often unarticulated - includes ‘all the implicit relations, tacit conventions, subtle clues, untold rules of thumb, recognisable intuitions, specific perceptions, well-tuned sensitivities, embodied understandings, underlying assumptions and shared world views.’ (IBID 47) In other words, members of a CoP inculcate, share and negotiate their identities in relation to their shared practice. More specifically, CoPs contain three distinct characteristics - mutual engagement, a joint enterprise and a shared repertoire, all underpinned by a developing history.
Therefore, through the wiki the design community can access considerable detail about particular projects, which would typically not see the light of day, or at least would not ‘legitimised’ until reported via the publication route, which as we know is heavily ‘copyright-protected’ thus emerging knowledge tends to be ring-fenced, accessible only if the price is paid for the appropriate publication. In this case, the wiki format allows early access to a way of thinking and practicing of a cross-cultural community, which, it could be argued, allows a mutually understood discourse to emerge. Jane Osmond, Coventry University

GLIDE08 visitor said

at 5:39 pm on Oct 22, 2008

Jane Osmond: Sharon Peoggenphi's presentation today was interesting in terms of community of practice theory - she talked about how designers teach how they were taught - that, I think, is the downside of a community of practice, in that it has the potential to perpetuate 'norms' that are no longer applicable to a global world - for example, there does seem to be a propensity to favour a Western view of design, which may not fit into a global context.

elaw said

at 7:50 pm on Oct 22, 2008

I was actually caught by Sharon's statement that "How I was taught = How I teach". Anyway, a community of practice (CoP) should not simply perpetuate what has been done, though paradoxically it seems supposed to be so. Perhaps a more critical role of CoP is to enhance its members to review the development of the questions of interest, given the common understanding of basic key ideas and shared vocabularies.

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