Value Creation Stories

Value Creation Stories

by Sylvia Currie -
Number of replies: 10

A project I am currently working on is to watch for indicators of value-creation in the SCoPE community. This idea is inspired by the work of Etienne Wenger-Trayner, Bev Wenger-Trayner, and Maarten de Laat: Promoting and assessing value creation in communities and netowrks: a conceptual framework (PDF). When I first read this paper I was really drawn to the idea of stories to capture the experiences of participants as they engage in community activities, and also what impact this has had on professional life. Jenny Mackness has written about the Value Creation framework on her blog over the past year. I highly recommend reading Jenny's posts for a concise description of what is involved. 

I realize that capturing these stories is not a light task, but also believe that committing to this as an ongoing practice would inform our work as a community of practice. So far I've just been skimming past SCoPE discussions to look for statements that indicate personal benefit and appreciation, as well as evidence that participation in the community has spanned across boundaries into activities elsewhere. To do this properly I would need to conduct interviews (and I would love to do that!) but I see this first phase as combing the forum discussions to see what value-creation indicators have emerged through participation. However, if anyone feels compelled to invest a few minutes in documenting their experiences, it would be so helpful!

There are 2 templates:

  1. Personal value narrative
  2. Specific value-creation stories

The personal value narrative is a matrix (see p. 44 of the paper) so is a little hard to duplicate here. 

The specific value-creation stories are guided by 5 questions, but not all questions need to be answered to generate a useful story.

The questions below represent an abbreviated view of the toolkit offered in the Value Creation paper.  See page 47 for the full questions. 

  1. What meaningful activities did you participate in?
  2. What specific skills or insights did you gain? What access to useful information or material?
  3. How did this influence your practice? What difference did it make / what did it enable that would not have happened otherwise?
  4. What was the outcome?  How did it contribute to your own success and/or the success of your workplace?
  5. Did the experience change your sense of what success is?

Do you find these questions helpful for documenting your experiences? Anyone game to try it? Remember, not all questions need answers for your piece become a valuable story. 

This is a really condensed description of the value creation framework so I won't be surprised by requests to elaborate! :-)

In reply to Sylvia Currie

Re: Value Creation Stories

by Don Beadle -

Hi Sylvia:

Sounds like a cool project, at first blush I would lean towards the value creation stories but I'll read the articles. happy to participate.

In reply to Sylvia Currie

Re: Value Creation Stories

by Joyce McKnight -

Great ideas that I will use many places.  Would you like

us to answer the questions and attach them in a file?

My screen does not permit me to write full replies...they fall oof on the right.

In reply to Joyce McKnight

Re: Value Creation Stories

by Sylvia Currie -

Thanks for writing up some responses to these questions! Yes, attaching a file to a forum post works. 

That's strange about replies falling off on the right of your screen, Joyce. If you post or email ( a screen shot I can look into the problem. I have experienced some strange behaviour when I fiddle with expanding the message area. You can drag the bottom right corner while composing a message to make it bigger or smaller, and sometimes the text doesn't wrap around. Of course I'm trying it right now and it works fine. Isn't that always the case! :-) 

In reply to Sylvia Currie

Re: Value Creation Stories

by Jenny Mackness -

Hi Sylvia - I think it's very exciting that you are using the Value Creation Framework in this way and also that you are making the process visible to us all.

I know you went to one of the BEtreats this year, as I did, so I expect you discussed the framework as we did. The first time I heard it discussed was in the BEtreat I attended last year (2011), when it was hot off the press, so in this year's BEtreat it was interesting to see that quite a few people were beginning to use it in different ways.

What came out strongly for me was the importance of identifying the indicators of value creation for a specific community. An activity that I found valuable in the first BEtreat was (when focussing on a specific community), to go through the indicators listed on pages 25 to 31 and identify which indicators could be used by the community and where the gaps were. We didn't have time to identify a list of community specific indicators (that may or may not be in the lists provided), but I would see that as the next step.

The other thing that I remember was that the indicators of immediate value (Cycle 1 - indicators of activity) and potential value (Cycle 2 - indicators of knowledge capital) were easier to identify than succeeding indicators in Cycles 3, 4 and 5 - indicators of change in practice, performance imporvement and redefinition of success, respectively).

My thinking/understanding is that this process would help to organise the many and diverse stories about the value of participating in a community of practice. Is this how you understood it?

I'm looking forward to seeing how your work on this progresses.

Thanks for sharing,


In reply to Jenny Mackness

Re: Value Creation Stories

by Therese Weel -

Do you find these questions helpful for documenting your experiences? 

I'll answer that one.  The answer is no. 

This is not the first time I've had trouble answering these sorts of  questions.   I followed the #change11 sessions last year and volunteered to participate in the survey.  I honestly could not answer their questions either because they were not relevant to my experience.  It not that I  need help with the big words.  The questioner assumed I was some sort of "professional educator" with a defined objective that I hoped to achieve.

To me scope is a  guild meeting, geek fair and  pioneer school rolled into one .    I like it that way.  It feels more like a natural , albeit technologically enabled- social activity than a course. It  is a place where kind people gather  to learn how we can encourage meaningful dialogue in an online setting.   

For it to work, there needs to be a human-ness about the place, which you Sylvia, as the community manager, cultivate very nicely. It is through your example and the experience of participating in an online seminar  that we realize  there are subtle nuances at play here.   

While we can articulate our understanding of holding online conversations to some degree, experience is still the best teacher. 


In reply to Therese Weel

Re: Value Creation Stories

by Colby Stuart -

Therese has touched upon an element of SCoPE behaviour here that deserves more discussion...a Guild.

A guild is a cooperative of practioners that share and learn and grow together. Their practices bond them because they all have the same interest at the heart of their sharing - their professional practices. They help one another through a progression from apprenctice to mastering their craft. (Think Terry Pratchett and the role that Guilds play in his stories!)

Aren't we SCoPErs more like a guild than anything else? Isn't the social learning aspect elemental? What would happen if we began to capture what we learn and set it into models for helping one another move from apprentice level through to mastering virtual learning? How could we keep this up to date and continue our lifelong virtual learning? 

This could be the starting basis toward a SCoPE Summit  (proposed earlier) - building on this experiential framework for SCoPE as a Guild for Virtual Learning. Then we capture and package the value of what we do in order to become even more of a worth-ful and mindful utility for others. Students can access the learning and contribute their own experiences as they contribute to managing the organisation of the workflow. Their theses and dissertations can generate authority for SCoPE as a Guild as well.

Perhaps this is thinking TOO BIG, but I believe in thinking BIG and starting small with simple steps.

SCoPE is one of the few learning groups that keeps me fascinated over time. I learn something from everyone every time I read or listen. Thank you for that.

Attachment eLearning Guild logo.jpeg
In reply to Colby Stuart

Re: Value Creation Stories

by Nick Kearney -

Interesting, the metaphor of the guild, but it turns us into medieval craftsmen working in a specific trade that has been handed down through the years. The term implies we would all do the same kinds of things, and innovation would mostly involve minor tweaks to our practice.

I think Scope is a broader church, a looser constellation of interests than the term "guild" implies. Many of us are not "tradesmen" or "craftsmen", we may be more analagous to "monks", if we want to use the medieval frame a little longer. But I don't think we are medieval, we may have shared interests in similar practices, but our "trade" is emerging as we go along. Guilds existed to protect a particular way of doing things, a shared and largely structured and homogenised practice. Scope exists to explore different ways of doing things, and extend our understandings.

Another key element to me is that guilds were always closed organisations. There were barriers to entry, someone had to apprentice you into the trade. Now you would pay, as you have to if you want to be fully involved in the e-learning guild. Scope isnt that. And I think it continues to be fascinating as you say because it is open.

"Open, Online Community" (interesting initials!!!)  is what it says at the top of the page right now. I think that works just fine. Why fix something that isnt broken?

In reply to Nick Kearney

Re: Value Creation Stories

by Therese Weel -

I was thinking along the lines of the world of warcraft definition

Guilds are teams of players who share similar goals or play styles. A guild that fits your needs will sweep your enjoyment to a whole new level. It's like gaining a pool of automatic friends. Your guildmates are the folks who can group with you, craft items for you, lend directions and advice to you, loan you a few gold when things are tight, and keep you company in guild chat or Vent as you quest your way through the levels. 

This morning,  I awoke with  some fresh thoughts about the <not so successful > transition from   'OOC's to M'OOCs 

I'll need some time to collect those thoughts in a meaningful way.   

I'll be back. 


In reply to Therese Weel

Re: Value Creation Stories

by simon fenton-jones -

I couldn't help, with all this talk about guilds, but throw this one in from one of my 'economy' sources.

There's quite a lot of talk around the global traps about Virtual orgs, the form of (open) governance they might take, and how they might be sustainable. I did like Therese's description of scope = a  guild meeting, geek fair and  pioneer school rolled into one. For me it's the next step after a FB or LinkedIn (etc, etc) group. At least we have a half decent tool, and a fantastic moderator. (3 cheers for Sylvia)

I think the next step after this is something like sitepoint, where a global group of moderators collaborates to support a community of practice - (in this case) people want to learn aboout web design, coding promotion, etc. - where moderators can monitor the "reading rooms" and see where the community's interest lies. i.e. number of readers 'viewing'.

The value added comes, as usual with all new media, in aggregating disciplinary peers' discussion, events, etc and reducing the duplications between (English speaking) institutions around the world.

In reply to simon fenton-jones

Re: Value Creation Stories

by Therese Weel -

So, I was thinking of James Burke and his BBC series Connections. I can hear his velvety voice tracing the evolution of sharing stories around the campfire to the modern day "MOOC".

It's my hope that "MOOC's" become an evolutionary dead end.

I was disappointed with CCK08.  I remember my eyes aching from reading a barrage of angry posts about whether George Siemens' Connectivism idea was a learning theory. The energy of the place was loud and obnoxious. To add to the joy, my user profile was screen snagged by someone and added to flicker.

I don't blame the hosts for the behavior of the students. Although, I didn't see much in the way of moderation. It was chaotic and unwieldy.

If it represented a "real" course it would be a first year lecture hall experience, with no lecturer.  Picture it.

  • People are "engaged"  in a clamour of social chatter.
  • Paper balls are being hurled around the room.
  • The garbage is piling up and starting to stink.
  • A couple of ideological thugs start mixing it up in the hallway.
  • Some opportunists hijack the A/V system and begin to prostheletize their myopic crap to the dumb masses.  
  • And finally, the administrators of this post secondary sausage factory, silently watch via CCTV and do not intervene.

No thank you.  

Things did improve with change11 and the move to an online conference model. I could focus my time and attention on the sessions that were of interest to me. The live midweek sessions were small enough to interact a little with other participants.

It was a conference - not a course and not very different from the thousands of online conferences underway right now.

Regular attendees (ie people from the community) stepped up to provide human commentary, evangelical services and critiques.

And so we are nearly back to communities with crowd sourced seminars.

How about that?

We are nearly back to  Bologna - before the tail started wagging the dog.

I'll stop here ...