Collaboration and Communities Competency Area

1. Description and Scope

Collaboration and Communities has both hard and soft competencies. The soft aspects include fostering inter- and intra-organizational collaboration, intra-unit collaboration, encouragement of professional, knowledge and social networking, developing facilitation and resolutionary skills among team members. The hard aspects include designing and implementing collaboration systems and social computing technologies that foster collaboration. Collaboration and community building can be a process that takes place either in a physical or virtual space.

2. Value of Competency to Knowledge Roles

All knowledge professional roles should have an understanding of collaboration processes and the role of communities in all phases of a knowledge life cycle. This competency, though, is particularly important for professionals in knowledge manager, knowledge analyst and knowledge architect roles. In some organizations, an individual may be fully focused on enabling social computing and collaboration.

3. Proposed Courses for Competency Area

The following courses are suggested for this competency. There is also a mix of traditional courses (3 credits), masters or short courses (2 credits), and workshops (1 credit). They are presented in the order they might be offered in the course catalog. Each course also has a potential source or provider, identified in parentheses.

When all courses are available, students would have two 3-credit courses from which to select in both the Fall and the Spring Semesters. In addition, they would have two 1-credit workshops in both Fall and Spring Semesters, and one 1-credit workshop in the summer session.

Course
Number of Credits
Semester Offered
Knowledge Networks (Rob Cross)
3 credits
Fall
Social Capital and Collaboration (Coleman)
3 credits
Fall
Coalition Building (Amy’s program)
1 credit
Fall
Chaos and Complexity Theory
1 credit
Fall
Social Computing (
3 credits
Spring
Design of the Physical Environment for Knowledge Organizations
1 credit
Spring
Reflection and Peer Review Processes (Andrei)
1 credit
Spring
Communities of Practice (Denise)
3 credits
Spring
Facilitation and Arbitration Methods (Iouri or Amy’s program)
1 credit
Summer

4. Recommended Course Development Strategies and Schedule

Developing courses in this competency means going directly to the experts such as Cross, Coleman, Drapeau or individuals who are currently engaged in community building. Because this competency focuses not only on the larger community and social computing environment, but also the processes that take place within the community space, we think there are opportunities to partner with Amy Laine’s Regional and Corporate Services program.

This is a competency where synchronous delivery – in class online interaction – may be the most effective method of delivery. One of these courses is already developed and deployed – Strategic Knowledge Management/Communities of Practice.

The recommendation is to begin offering several new courses in Academic Year 2011/12. In that academic year, we would ensure that all four 3-credit courses are available, and all but one of the workshops. The final workshop would be offered based on interest and demand in Academic Year 2012/13.

Course
Year
First Offered

Knowledge Networks (Rob Cross)
2011-12
Social Capital and Collaboration (Coleman)
2011-12
Coalition Building
2011-12
Social Computing
2011-12
Design of the Physical Environment for Knowledge Organizations
2011-12
Reflection and Peer Review Processes (Andrei)
2011-12
Facilitation and Arbitration Methods (Iouri to refer)
2011-12
Chaos and Complexity Theory
2012-13

By Academic Year 2013/14 we would have deployed all of these courses, with the bulk of the effort coming in AY 2011/12.

Courses at End AY 2010-11
New Courses Added AY 2011-12
New Courses Added
AY 2012-13

Total Courses 2013-2014
3 credit = 1
2 credit = 0
1 credit = 0

3 credit =3
2 credit =0
1 credit =4

3 credit =0
2 credit =0
1 credit =1

3 credit =4
2 credit =0
1 credit =5


5. Funding Opportunities for Course Development

Because this is an evolving competency area, there is a significant risk of loss of investment if we develop all of these courses synchronously. A more effective approach may be to deliver these courses synchronously, and package the products of the synchronous delivery. In this way, the investment is tied directly to the teaching.

A key collaboration opportunity which could also potentially increased enrollments is a partnership with Amy Laine’s Regional and Corporate Services Program. As with the Leadership and Strategy, companies in the Northeast Ohio area have a potential interest in this competency. A partnership could help us to bring individuals from companies and organizations into the program.

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