How Many Forums in a PD Community Space

What should you have on a professional development site to support a PD community?
This kind of community is a strange entity: they are NOT usually in existance purely for their own interest, their own needs and purposes; they have a sponsor, who has great plans for their lives.
How much automony do you give the participants? Etienne talked about problems when CoP’s get jobs to do. They are then a project group or a task force.

I think there are at least five key functions needed.

  1. The professional discussion area. Where you talk largley business. I sometimes call this ‘On task-talk’.
  2. The social area. “The Locker Room” for a sports team. The “19th Hole” for a golfing group. “The caf”. I remember when Bron pointed out that “Lounge” was probably not culturally inclusive. :-)
    I use a standard phrase: “For related but off task discussion”
  3. Tech Help. :-) I used to call this Q&A, but the problem came when posters posted about any questions like “When is Task 2 due?” and “Where are we meeting on Friday?”. I have had 2 forums, one for tech Q&A and another for on-task questions. Now I just let the questions emerge in the Professional discussion area.
  4. Reflections. Where do you ponder and reflect on what you are learning.
  5. ?? I’m sure I had a fifth in mind when I started this post, but do you think I can remember it?? **

What happens if posts end up in the wrong place? (Who cares)

What happens if it’s a reflection question on a social and professional matter? “Should we talk about work at next week’s end of match function at the dux?” (Put it in the nearest forum to you when you get the urge to post)

cpSquare has a “Help in Real Time” forum for really urgent queries. Good idea.

OK. Why is this important? *

[28th March 2006]

  1. *I’ve lost the rest of this post. When I ported over the posts from my old pLog Blog (Now lifetype) I forgot the second part to some posts was in a separate table, until after Bruce had deleted the MySQL tables.
  2. **Still canot think of the fifth forum. Lets stop at 4.

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