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Sharing knowledge and building communities: a narrative of the formation, development and sustainability of OOPS
Abstract This narrative inquiry (Clandinin & CoThis narrative inquiry (Clandinin & Connelly, 2000) documented the formation, development, and sustainability of an online community called {OOPS} {(Opensource} Opencourseware Prototype System) originally formed in February 2004 to translate the {MIT} {OpenCourseware} project into Chinese. This community is unique in that it is comprised of over 1,800 online volunteers from around the world and has coalesced rapidly into a distinct group of people that share a common goal, interact frequently with one another online, and communicate mainly through a web-based forum. Little is known about how this type of community is formed and evolves, how participants learn from and interact with one another, and how volunteerism is nurtured and supported. As a participant in the OOPS project myself, I became intrigued with the formation of this community and the experiences of its members. Using interviews with participants, archived discussions from the online forum, and observations, as well as my, own understanding and knowledge, I explored how the OOPS community formed values and created a social structure. In this research study, I have described how our experiences were shaped by social interactions, individual beliefs, values, and assumptions. This inquiry involved two different ways of viewing the community through micro-stories, the individual stories of participants, and macro-stories, stories that involve the community as a whole. Each viewpoint has a different framework for analysis. Using the concepts of narrative authority (Olson, 1995) and knowledge community (Craig, 1995a, 1995b) as the first analytical framework, I drew on the micro-stories of this community's members to unpack various motivations, satisfactions, and hazards involving volunteer work, the forming of knowledge communities, and the expression of individual narrative authority. In the process, I discovered a phenomenon I have called experience asymmetry" that exists when people have diverse experiences resulting in different and at times competing understandings. I further explored the interaction between experience asymmetry and narrative authority as they are expressed in a knowledge community. I have also expanded the current literature on knowledge community to include the online characteristics of human interactions and I argue for a modification to also consider the notion of safeness time identity and fluidity of boundary. Using Wikipedia and models for open source development as the second analytical framework I drew on the macro-stories of the community to understand events that bridge both the online and offline lives of the participants. Often these activities produce a friction that while stressful has the potential to create a synergy that increases dialogue and interactions. I have classified these frictions in four categories related to knowledge development, leadership and decision making, community structure, and usefulness and intellectual property. In this process, I have explored why participants take on additional tasks that have more complexity and more involvement as a way to sustain their commitment to the community. Based on my inquiry into both the micro- and macro-stories, I have suggested five ways to sustain an online community through an environment that: (1) encourages increased responsibility and commitment of the members; (2) provides technology as part of the solution; (3) distributes leadership; (4) encourages use by people outside the community; and (5) gives back to the worldwide community through creating new knowledge. community through creating new knowledge.
Added by wikilit team Added on initial load  +
Collected data time dimension Longitudinal  +
Conclusion The Wiki technology facilitates division oThe Wiki technology facilitates division of labor, enables the ease of contributing and participation, and records all change histories for easy examination and recovery. It is a rapidly growing community where authority is gained through individuals’ active participation. Its social structure does not necessarily recognize people based on their expertise even thought it does employ a promotion mechanism for various roles in the community. Positioning itself as an encyclopedia, Wikipedia inherits the perception of being a reliable reference source. However, its credibility continues to be questioned. However, I wondered if and how an academic involvement would solve the quality issue.involvement would solve the quality issue.
Conference location United States, Texas +
Data source Direct observation  +
Google scholar url http://scholar.google.com/scholar?ie=UTF-8&q=%22Sharing%2Bknowledge%2Band%2Bbuilding%2Bcommunities%3A%2Ba%2Bnarrative%2Bof%2Bthe%2Bformation%2C%2Bdevelopment%2Band%2Bsustainability%2Bof%2BOOPS%22  +
Has author Meng-Fen Grace Lin +
Has domain Computer science + , Education +
Has topic Community building + , Other collaboration topics +
Peer reviewed Yes  +
Publication type Thesis  +
Published in University of Houston +
Research design Phenomenology  +
Research questions This narrative inquiry (Clandinin & CoThis narrative inquiry (Clandinin & Connelly, 2000) documented the formation, development, and sustainability of an online community called OOPS (Opensource Opencourseware Prototype System) originally formed in February 2004 to translate the MIT OpenCourseware project into Chinese. MIT OpenCourseware project into Chinese.
Revid 10,943  +
Theories Undetermined
Theory type Analysis  +
Title Sharing knowledge and building communities: a narrative of the formation, development and sustainability of OOPS
Unit of analysis Website  +
Url http://showme.physics.drexel.edu/share/Lin.pdf  +
Wikipedia coverage Case  +
Wikipedia data extraction Live Wikipedia  +
Wikipedia language N/A  +
Wikipedia page type Article  +
Year 2006  +
Creation dateThis property is a special property in this wiki. 15 March 2012 20:30:10  +
Categories Community building  + , Other collaboration topics  + , Computer science  + , Education  + , Publications with missing comments  + , Publications  +
Modification dateThis property is a special property in this wiki. 30 January 2014 20:31:22  +
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