The suggestion to create summaries of each seminar, and the different shapes that these might take ("regular summaries" during seminars for the benefit of occasional participants, reports that might "marry themes from the literature with the conversations") prompted me to dig back into past discussions. It's not a new suggestion, and it's a bit of an embarrassment that I've never been successful in establishing a routine or format for preparing summaries.
Two years ago (yikes!) we came very close to articulating what we need. Revisiting this thread I realized in horror that I promised to return with a summary of the discussion about summaries and failed to do that. Oh the irony!
Also, Richard Schwier, during a conversation about creating ebooks, suggested that we compile SCoPE seminar summaries each year into a book. Fabulous idea! And one that suggests a consistent format.
During a guided virtual tour of the KM4DEV (part of the CP2-SCoPE quarterly field trips) we learned about a practice in that community to summarize all discussions in a wiki. This is an impressive list of summaries! I'm trying to recall the full story about the strategies used to motivate participants to take this extra step. I'll ask around and see what I can find out!
Nevertheless the time challenge remains. We always start out with great intentions, and have managed to create a few summaries here and there and using a variety of formats -- wikis, tags, and summary posts. But it obviously needs to become embedded in what we do here at SCoPE.
Is it as simple as asking for volunteers at the beginning of each seminar? Or perhaps a paid job that would interest a student?
A paid job for a student, Sylvia.
Just this morning I was investigating www.wikispaces.com because it works with D2L. Finally, I have something to contribute. I guess this means I'm no longer a professional lurker.
I mentioned the KM4DEV practice of creating wiki summaries of community conversations but couldn't recall the details of how they motivated members to participate in the process. So I sent a note to Nancy White and minutes later she returned with a link to her blog post outlining the process in detail. How great is that!
Creating these harvests seems like it should be straightforward, but notice all the subtle bits of advice in Nancy's outline.
- Summarizing too soon can stop the conversation
- Private email, asking and thanking
- Talk about the wiki and how it's being used. Keep it visible
- Be reasonable about expectations "don't expect miracles"