Based on Dave’s presentation, I was a bit surprised initially by Dave’s views on appreciative inquiry :”Appreciative Inquiry is often unethical and used in inappropriate contexts; it tells people what stories they are allowed to tell. Open space is also like this in that it rewards consensus and punishes dissent. Anyone who survives in an open space does so because the only people there are those who listen – everyone else votes with their feet.”
Jenny raised a post relating to how dissenting ideas or views were being perceived by people in the networks. Here she says:
But the open space offered by the net and open courses such as Moocs, allows those of us who are not learning in such highly complex situations to encounter a greater diversity of alternative perspectives than might otherwise be the case. That is the point of Moocs, along with learning from these alternative perspectives through interaction and having the autonomy to vote with your feet (i.e. walk away) if you so wish.
Matthias’ response here with a post on Open Space Binary Participants.
If the open space is perceived as a network, not a group, then there is no such thing as the binary (black or white) status of collaborator or non-collaborator, and no pressure for the binary status of nodding or walking away. Instead, the three options of agreement, non-reaction, and dissent, may now be handled differently:
I reckon both Jenny and Matthias have pointed towards the unique nature of inquiry and responses in open space as a network (like that in MOOC), with no convergence of what might be perceived as absolutely collaborative or cooperative, and that people have the right to agree, non-react, dissent, or just leave. What individual could exercise in networks would be autonomy when raising one’s voice or “voting”, which may not be available in groups, as one must either agree, disagree, or abstain in voting, when making decisions. This may however not appeal to people who have been educated in a group decision process, where a decision is expected to be made, with consensus.
all human interactions are strongly influenced and frequently determined by our experiences, both through the direct influence of personal experience, and through collective experience, such as stories or music.
What I found it interesting is that such social environments are often a blend of simple, complicated and complex scenarios, where people could easily arrive to solutions based on certain assumptions, experience, rather than the actual sensing of the situation, as one can pick this up from the diagram, with sense-making the basis of all scenarios. In MOOC, I think the critical learning is related more with how one inquires, and how one would engage in the conversation, without too much worries about the “negotiation” or conflict resolution, as in the case of face-to-face conflicts situation or group’s conflict resolution. The essence of networked learning is not necessary to come up with resolution of conflicts, or to come up with ONE definite solution to a problem.
In MOOC, it is more about diversity of opinions, based on thoughts leadership, and the use of narratives in telling our stories, and learning through those stories.
“I found thought leadership useful in networked learning, in particular when applying this concept in the case of networked organisation and community leadership. Thought leadership has none of the managerial overtones of organising action, executing tasks, making decisions or coordinating effort toward achieving joint goals. In fact, there might not even be joint goals in the small groups or communities. Instead, the emphasis could be the creation of new knowledge and development of innovative ideas through builds and bounds of ideas, conversation and dialogues. In this context, thought leaders are not empowered, not given authority to make decisions. They are, rather, what Hamel (2001) calls revolutionaries, employees who challenge the status quo and press for change. (see Thought leadership)”
This is similar to processes such as Ritual Dissent, where people are literally harangued for their ideas, are needed in today’s education system, as cited by Jenny. Facilitation in MOOC is never easy then, as we could witness from the MOOCs so far. Everyone is different, but could be valuable in adding ideas and thoughts to the community and network. Just one small bit at a time, from each brain and mind. The inquiry and conversation drives the learning through those connections.
Picture: Sourced from Nicola Avery blog
So, what seems to be differently perceived sounds similar in a number of respects to me. What do you see similarly or differently then? Is facilitation the solution?
Here is appreciative inquiry. Did it work in MOOC?