Webcast Academy as an online learning community

Over recent weeks I have been considering the phenomenon of professional learning communities as a major theme for the Masters unit I'm currently undertaking. I have been considering the readings for this unit in the context of the community that has built up around the Webcast Academy, and more recently Education Bridges. The following quote from Haberman (2004, p.52), raises some questions to reflect on with regard to the Academy: 'A group is a learning community when members share a common vision that learning is the primary purpose for their association and the ultimate value to preserve in their worplace and that learning outcomes are the primary criteria for evaluating the success of their work.'
  • What is the common vision of members of the Academy community?
  • What are the learning outcomes that are the basis for evaluating the success of work undertaken in the Academy?
  • How do we evaluate the success of the Academy's work?
  • What personal motivations do individual community members have for being involved?
Some of these questions are answered through the way that the webcasting training and requirements have been structured to date. However, I would be interested to get some responses to these questions from members of the Webcast Academy community. Haberman, M. (2004). Can star teachers create learning communities? Educational Leadership, 61(8), 52-56.



Is there a proper definition for "learning outcomes?" What does that mean precisely?

For me, one short-term criteria for success is somewhat mechanistic, i.e., can I download and configure the technology and get webcasting successfully.

Another criteria for success: I've figured out how to wrangle the technology, but can I successfully host a show?

Next, I've got a show, but is there an audience? Is anyone interested in what I am saying, and more importantly, are they engaged in the conversation?

Long-term criteria for success: now that I have availed myself of the Worldbridges resources, is there any motivation to continue on my own past the initial flush of success?

Another one: am I motivated enough to give back to the community that helped me in the first place and train the next class?

Regarding my personal motivation: I am a geek and enjoy new media. However, there was this gap in my knowledge about webcasting that bugged me. It seems like a technology that would benefit me personally. But it also seems like something that might interest current or future employers. Plus I get to communicate with folks more veteran than me in the education field and learn from their experience.

Hope that helps. One last thought. Another criteria for success would be how much folks respond to each other in these discussion areas. So who's next?

J. Robertshaw

To answer my own question

Reckon this is old hat for most folks here. But here's what I found out about learning outcomes:
"Learning outcomes are statements that specify what learners will know or be able to do as a result of a learning activity. Outcomes are usually expressed as knowledge, skills, or attitudes... Learning outcomes are statements which described a desired condition – that is, the knowledge, skills, or attitudes needed to fulfill the need. They represent the solution to the identified need or issue. Learning outcomes provide direction in the planning of a learning activity.
J. Robertshaw -- cephalopodcast.com

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