Mapping system dynamics and semantics
From paragogy-latest.pdf by Joseph Corneli and Charles Jeffrey Danoff.
Review what was supposed to happen.
We both organized multiple courses: Collaborative Lesson Planning Fall 2010 and Winter 2011 (co-organized with Dr. Majorie King); DIY Math; Math for Game Designers; Open Governance and Learning (co-organized with Marisa Ponti); and Shaping P2PU. Participants were supposed to interact and learn about the subject matter (See e.g. http://p2pu.org/general/collaborative-lesson-planning.)
Establish what happened.
Due to critically low participation, the mathematics courses did not run to completion. Participation in the other courses was minimal, but sufficient for them to run the entire 6 week session. The theory of paragogy was born in an effort to understand what had happened.
Determine what was right or wrong with what happened.
In the more active courses, there were nice examples of learning by course participants. Participation was nevertheless uneven and falling, which is common across P2PU, as illustrated in Dan Diebolt’s graphical analysis of course participation.
Determine how the task should be done differently the next time.
Our best experiences as course organizers happened when we were committed to working through the material ourselves. Combining this with gently prompting peers to follow through on their commitments could go a long way towards keeping engagement at a reasonable level. The first step is to make it easier for participants to say explicitly what their commitments are. Looking at this another way, the P2PU ecology contains an implicit rubric for learning and engagement: from member signs-up for a course to its completion, peers go through a cycle. As we understand this cycle better, it should be possible to evaluate it for quality. For example, P2PU could help participants by implementing more formal check points throughout the cycle.