Task, Practice and Knowledge Based Communities – Online learning


Riel and Polin’s article ‘Online Learning Communities’ is based around the premise that learning is a social activity and is at the heart of online learning communities – an idea that already holds quite a bit of ground in the educatoin field, as Anne (another NGL course participant) has already discussed.

The article goes on to explore three different types of learning communities – task based, practice based, and knowledge based – which exist together in a learning organisation. Each of these can be supported through technological systems to deliver benefits for both teachers and students, e.g.
• Through supporting interactions via online tools
• By introducing students to professional communities and enabling them to be part of a team
• Through providing students with opportunities to experience handling tools for inquiry
• Helping students to be familiar with and build skills with working in online communities and observe other (expert practitioners) in the field
• Providing practical and expert support networks for teachers

As a student
While reading the paper, I could see examples of each of these communities in the NGL course –
Task-based – the way in which the fellow NGL students are sharing and reviewing blogs to meet the assessment requirements of this uni course
Practice-based – through the links we share and discussions on our blogs about literature in the field of Networked and Global learning. By doing so we building our knowledge as practicioners in the education field.
Knowledge-based – through posting online and recording articles in Diigo and linking to each others’ blogs. We are creating an online repository of information on NGL!

As a teacher
In my role as a teacher I can see value in drawing on each of these three types of communities – task, practice and knowledge based – to support learning in my organisation.
So far I have had some preliminary discussions with staff members and senior management about what sort of learning activities we will need to implement to achieve our aims of transitioning staff to new practices in the coming months. In these discussions we have tossed around the idea of setting up an internal collaborative website for our staff (the students) where we could provide information and training modules for the new practices we are going to implement. On the site staff can read and discuss the modules or new procedures with their peers, and ask each other questions to assist with the change (task-based learning). We were also looking at setting up a ‘library’ section of the collaborative site, where we could keep records of key information about our area of work that staff could draw from into the future (knowledge- based). It was also hoped that the staff would use the collaborative site to upload articles or news about new changes or ideas in the field or to provide mentoring to fellow staff in both the short and long term, to support existing and future staff to improve their practice (practice-based).


Riel, M., & Polin, L. (2004). Online learning communities: Common ground and critical differences in designing technical environments. In S. A. Barab, R. Kling, & J. Gray (Eds.), Designing for Virtual Communities in the Service of Learning (pp. 16–50). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.



CLEM Model Continued – The YouTube Model and an example in the school context


So far I have looked at the existing online Communities and Literature around my selected learning activity – to learn a new Irish tune by ear. Exploration of these aspects of the CLEM model has helped to explain why “watching” YouTube videos assisted me with learning a new tune. This post will look at the remaining components of the CLEM ModelExample and Model in relation to my learning task and how this has helped to explain the benefits of “creating” my own learning video to share with others.

  1. Example & 4. Model

The Model (type of ICT) that I have chosen to use for my learning activity is YouTube. This model enables learners to view other people’s videos and also create their own Channel (an online space) where they share and organise their own videos. In regards to the technical aspects of this Model – I found it quite easy to create a my own YouTube Channel (you can view it here) however found it a little more challenging to personalise the Channel to meet my needs and organise my videos – although I am confident I will work it out with time, I’m sure it just takes a bit of practice. I did not come across any serious technical issues which prevented me from using this platform – no doubt this is part of the reason it is currently the most popular online video sharing platform on the web (Buzzetto-More, 2014).

To help me better understand how this Model could be used in learning, M Quennerstedt’s article “PE on YouTube – investigating participation in physical education practice” provided a useful Example. The article showed that effective learning (in the school context) can occur through social media and that YouTube is a useful platform as it caters to the range of learning styles and preferences and allows for diversity in participating in learning (e.g. flexibility in watching, selecting, creating and presenting videos). Quennerstedt also looked at how students and teachers shape content (i.e. making public how they learn or how they create resources) and demonstrated how this can reveal new aspects of learning that may not otherwise be apparent – something that is beneficial for not only students, but also teachers and researchers. The article also discussed the benefit of YouTube as a tool for archiving learning activities and resources to enable them to be accessed and used by a wide audience not just in the present but well into the future.

In the article, Quennerstedt also outlines some of the technical and ethical issues for teachers using this platform platform for learning E.g. The difficulties with protecting the the privacy of students and their work on this public forum. It was recommended that teachers do not download their students’ videos to their home computer, so that it remains the student’s decision when they would like to remove their work from the public domain. This is something I will need to keep in mind in my role as a teacher and is also something for me to consider as a student of the NGL course – the permanency of the material I post on the web while participating in online communities.


Quennerstedt, M. (2013). PE on YouTube – investigating participation in physical education practice. Physical Education & Sport Pedagogy, 18(1), 42-59.

Buzzetto-More, N. A. (2014). An Examination of Undergraduate Student’s Perceptions and Predilections of the Use of YouTube in the Teaching and Learning Process. Interdisciplinary Journal Of E-Learning & Learning Objects, 1017-32.

CLEM Model – Literature around YouTube in learning


Following on from my previous post on the CLEM model….

In response to the comment from David Jones on my post about what particular aspects of YouTube make it such a good learning resource, I have delved into some of the literature around this platform.

2. The Literature

Buzzetto-More’s article “An Examination of Undergraduate Student’s Perceptions and Predilections of the Use of YouTube in the Teaching and Learning Process” has helped me to better understand why YouTube was such a helpful learning tool for me in trying to learn a new Irish Tune (see further details on my learning challenge here).

YouTube is currently the most popular video sharing site, with 1 billion users on average per month (Buzzetto-More, 2014). In a recent comparison of existing video sharing platforms available online, which considered the ease of use and range of features available – YouTube was rated the best, with a perfect score (Buzzetto-More, 2014). It seems no wonder then that there have been a number of studies conducted recently into the benefits of YouTube as a pedagogical tool. In the article, Buzzetto-More provides an overview of these recent studies and the many virtues of this popular platform for learning, which include:
• Increasing depth of engagement in, and understanding of, subject matter.
• Stimulating “greater interactivity with content, increased engagement, more rigorous discourse, and enhanced knowledge transfer and memory building” (Buzzetto-More, 2014, p.20)
• Improving information recall by providing students with memory cues and clarifying understanding.
• Enhancing online courses by facilitating discussions, enhancing lectures, encouraging independent learning, and assisting in tutoring.
• Having a greater appeal to students due to the 15 minute limit on videos.
• Meeting the learning needs of the Digital Natives who are visual spatial learners.
• Ability to support learning for mature and international students by providing easy access to “alternative views and opinions on subjects, variety in delivery mechanisms, and the use of every day examples to illustrate points” (Buzzetto-More, 2014, p.21).
• Supporting conceptualisation through visualisation.
• Providing students with increased choices and control over the direction of learning i.e. supporting activity learning.

The article also looks specifically at undergraduate students’ perceptions of the value of YouTube as a learning tool, concluding that the “incorporation of YouTube enhances instruction and increases student interest” (Buzzetto-More, 2014, p.30). One reason being that students could access YouTube from a range of device, such as their mobile without requiring specific computer software. As a student of the NGL course, this one reason I feel I have been more engaged in this particular course, compared to others is because I have been able to access the Word Press app on my phone easily, at any time and from anywhere.
Another reason the undergraduate studies surveyed in the article, considered YouTube an engaging and valuable tool was because of the short length of the videos (maximum 15 minutes). As a student of NGL and as in my role as a learner this is something which has certainly appealed to me with my limited study time, due to having to balance study with full time work.

Buzzetto-More, N. A. (2014). An Examination of Undergraduate Student’s Perceptions and Predilections of the Use of YouTube in the Teaching and Learning Process. Interdisciplinary Journal Of E-Learning & Learning Objects, 1017-32.

CQM Toolbox – a practical strategy for networked learning in the business sector


I came across a short article published back in 1997 in Industry Week magazine titled ‘CQM Toolbox’ which looks at learning modules for Senior Executive run by a Centre for Quality Management. The article provides what I consider to be a rather progressive view (in comparison with my personal experience in the workplace) of incorporating networked learning to achieve improved business outcomes. The article discusses a range of networked learning strategies which work alongside traditional workplace training delivery methods of workshops, courses and seminars. These networked activities include user groups, study groups and ‘peer to peer networking roundtables’ which are intended to act as ‘support systems’ for implementing new initiatives, overcoming hurdles and to initiate discussions to develop new ideas and improved ways of doing business!(“CQM Toolbox”, 1997, p.30)

While the article doesn’t specifically refer to networked activities in the online space, I can see that there are opportunities here for my work context (as a teacher). With many of the key Government agencies situated in Canberra, it would be possible to set up some sort of face-to-face cross-agency roundtable, perhaps with videoconferencing to international agencies or using a secure online meeting place (e.g. a Ning). This could be used to assist my section to better implement our current training program and also  as a way to keep across ‘best practice’ approaches in the field, going forward. I suppose this is essentially the same as creating a Professional Learning Network or Community of Practice.

RDECOM launches communities of practice by RDECOM, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License   by  RDECOM 

As a student, I can see this is very much what we are doing here in the NGL course – creating a Community of Practice or Professional Learning Network using WordPress and Diigo as platforms for this – we are using each others posts to spark new ways of doing things or to overcome hurdles (e.g. Paul’s response to one of my earlier posts). Whether I will be able to use these same online tools in my workplace will be at the mercy of our Department IT security team – as it is important that our work discussions remain confidential, something which can be tricky in the online space. Something for me to pursue further down the track.


Clifford, M (2013). 20 Tips for Creating a Professional Learning Network. Retrieved from http://www.opencolleges.edu.au/informed/features/20-tips-for-creating-a-professional-learning-network/#ixzz3BeH9m6f1

CQM toolbox. (1997). Industry Week/IW, 246(13), 30.

University of Southern Queensland. (2013). Communities of Practice. Retrieved from https://www.usq.edu.au/cops

Sharing my learning on You Tube


This is a video of my first attempt at learning the tune ‘In the Tap Room’ by ear. I have posted this on my new You Tube channel. (Edit 27 August – Please note: I just realised that my ‘second attempt’ video comes up. You need to go to the top left hand corner and click ‘playlist’ and select the other video to watch first. The other video is my ‘first attempt’ at the tune and is the one that I am writing about in this blog. Sorry for the confusion, I am still getting my head around how running a you tube channel actually works!!)

I’ll admit, I’ve already had a bit of a go at it (about 10 minutes) before I clicked the record button. What I’ve done, is found another video on You Tube of someone practicing the tune (Tap Room (Reel) – fiddle practice) that is slightly slower than most of the Irish tunes are usually played. In the video I’m trying to listen to bits of it over and over to pick it up by ear – the traditional method of learning Irish Music.

You will see in the video, I get through about half of the tune ok, but then really struggle with the second part. You’ll see at the end of the video that I ‘sigh’ quite audibly, which shows you just how frustrated I was!

I decided to share my learning experience (based on what I have learnt  about ‘sharing’ learning so far in this course) to assist others out there who are trying to learn Irish music or the fiddle.  I hope that they can benefit or learn something from my experience – even if it is just how frustrating and slow learning a new tune can be, and how it can be quite a repetitive process.

I have also recorded my second attempt on my you tube channel, if you want to take a look.

CLEM & Communities for learning Irish Music & my new YouTube Channel


In the week 4 readings, our course convenor David Jones introduced the group to the CLEM approach to learning and teaching. CLEM refers to Community, Literature, Examples and Model. In my position ‘as a learner’ trying to pick up a new Irish tune, these four components are intended to help me think more deeply about this process of learning. I will outline my thoughts, experiences and understanding against each of these components in the following posts, starting with….

  1. Community.

I have spent the last couple of weeks scouring the online world (part of my ‘seek’ stage, as outlined in my personal knowledge management routine) using range of tools and strategies to identify useful learning communities that I could be part of to assist with meeting my learning goal.

I will discuss broadly three types of communities that I have discovered:

  1. The twitter/Blog communities – broad range of individuals and groups providing links and information on happenings in the Irish music world, as well as details about where to find a teacher or session in your location e.g.

I have started following a bunch of these (for example: here, here and here), however have found that while these communities are fairly active, with lots of general information on Irish music and regular updates, it has not been particularly useful for me trying to learn to play certain Irish tunes online.

  1. The Session online forum – This online community has a range of useful features to support a learner of Irish tunes, including – swathes of sheet music, recordings, and discussions on all a broad range of topics. I signed up for the site and have been loving the discussion board. So many of the questions I had about learning music by ear and on fiddle technique have already been asked by other learners, and I have found the responses my other members of the community to have been really valuable. I was also able to listen to some basic midi files of a range of different versions of ‘In the Tap Room’ to give me some ideas of different variations I could play. A great resource!clarejoinsthesession
  2. You Tube – By far the best online community I have discovered for learning Irish music is You Tube. I just typed in name of the tune I wanted to play into the search and was able to easily find a range of videos of people playing the tune, from beginners through to accomplished players, and recordings of the great players of our time. I subscribed to a number of different channels of Irish musicians and this has been, by far, the most useful resource. I have been listening to the videos over and over, and watching the player’s technique, and then using this knowledge to try and play the tune.

In line with the idea of ‘sharing’ my knowledge and making my learning experience public – as I have discussed in previous posts – I have decided to create my own YouTube channel, to start documenting my learning of the tune ‘In the Tap Room’. Check out my new videos here.

my you tube channel

More to come on this soon…