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Building Empowered Communities. …Building Empowered Communities. Presented by NSF Project Team May 14, 2003.

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Building empowered communities l.jpg

Building Empowered Communities

…Building Empowered Communities

Presented by NSF Project Team

May 14, 2003

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0210928. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author (s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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Presentation Outline

  • Overview of Fall 2002 semester work

  • Vision, Mission, and Goals

  • Research

  • Design

  • Development

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Overview of Fall 2002

  • Data collection

  • Needs assessment

  • Use cases and role models

  • Flowcharts

  • Wire frames

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Vision, Mission, Goals


Building empowered communities


Create a foundation for a self-sustaining, self-directed learning community that fosters capacity building in underserved communities

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Vision, Mission, Goals (cont.)


  • Prioritize functions of Self Directed Learning Community

  • Implement functions of Self Directed Learning Community

  • Document the process of system design (i.e. design document)

  • Produce a scalable high-fidelity prototype of an online system

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Vision, Mission, Goals (cont.)


  • Open communication

  • Research a Community of Practice

  • Participatory Design

  • Performance Centered Design

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Views of Culture

Traditional definition

  • Stable practices that capture daily life

  • Passed down through generations

  • Dynamic & improvisational

  • Participation in multiple communities

  • Self-identity in relation to others

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Views of Culture

Modern Definition

  • Discourse Community

    • People, ways of thinking, acting, valuing

  • Funds of Knowledge

    • Strategic knowledge

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Implications on Instructional Systems Design

  • Framework based on majority

  • Participatory design

  • Funds of knowledge

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Capacity Building

Characteristics of:

  • Sense of Community

  • Commitment from community members

  • Members participate as stakeholders

  • Ability to solve problems

  • Access resources – economic, physical, human, and political (Chaskin)

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Communities of Practice

“Communities of Practice are groups of people who share a concern, a set of problems, or a passion about a topic, and who deepen their knowledge and expertise in this area by interacting on an ongoing basis.”

(Wenger, McDermott, & Snyder, 2002, p. 4)

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Why Communities of Practice

  • Practical knowledge management

  • Not limited by physical, geographical boundaries

  • Creates value to members

  • “Offers possibilities for weaving the organization around knowledge, connecting people, solving problems, and creating opportunities.”

    (Wenger et al., 2002)

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Virtual Communities

  • Language and artifacts reflect culture

  • Identity and norms from shared history and behavioral rules

  • Develop processes that spur participation

  • Support new organizational roles

  • Give community members “space” to participate

  • Flexible ways for communities to describe and find resources

  • Flexible support to manage growth

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Participatory Design

What is it?

  • “Participatory design is a set of theories, practices, and studies related to end-users as full participants in activities leading to software and hardware computer products and computer-based activities.”

    (Schuler & Namioka, 1993)

    Level of participation

  • How involved do we want them?

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Descriptive Artifacts

Low Tech Prototypes

Evolutional Prototyping and Cooperative Prototyping

Participatory Design (cont.)

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Participatory Design (cont.)


  • Improved communication and understanding

  • Incorporation of new and emergent ideas

  • Shared ownership

  • Committed working relations

  • Achieving consequential goals

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Usage-Centered Design

“What really counts is not the number of clicks it takes me to get to what I want, but rather how hard each click is - the amount of thought required, and the amount of uncertainty about whether I’m making the right choice.”

(Krug, 2000, p.41)

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Visual Design

  • Look and Feel

  • Functionality

    “Creating consistent and functional systems for navigation, graphics, page layout, and title languages so that the user knows where to go, what to do, and it encourages them to return.” (Goto & Cotler, p. 88)

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Design Process



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Social Negotiation

Reference Research

Flow Charts

Vision, Mission, Goals

Needs Assessment


Participatory Design

The Pyramid Process of Design

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The Pyramid Process of Design


Social Negotiation

Reference Research


Vision, Mission, GoalsNeeds AssessmentResearchParticipatory Design

Flow Charts

Vision, Mission, Goals

Needs Assessment


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Functions Revision





Create Resources

Resource Storage


Access Resources



Create Resources




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Functions Flow

InteractEmailChatDiscussion Board Add Delete Edit TrackSearch Log In



Create resources




Log In

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  • What is critical to the system?

  • What do we have the time to do?

  • What do we have the resources to do?

  • What does the client want/need?

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The Pyramid Process of Design



Social Negotiation

Reference Research

Flow Charts

Flow Charts

Vision, Mission, Goals

Needs Assessment


Participatory Design

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The Pyramid Process of Design




Social Negotiation

Reference Research

Flow Charts

Vision, Mission, Goals

Needs Assessment


Participatory Design

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The Pyramid Process of Design




Social Negotiation

Reference Research

Flow Charts

Vision, Mission, Goals

Needs Assessment


Participatory Design

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From the Abstract into the Concrete

  • Take the functions and make them real

  • Take the categories and make them real

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What are users going to do?

  • Communicate = email, chat, discussion board, email administrator, (email this page), (listserve)

  • Add/Delete/Modify content

  • Login to the system

  • (Interact - learn, practice, play)

  • (Search)

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Site Structure

  • Communicate

  • Information

  • Events

  • Classes

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Participatory Design

  • Four client design meetings

  • Three usability rounds with user role models at the community center

    • Nomenclature

    • Structure

    • Content

    • Colors and Fonts

  • One round with the Buckingham Neighborhood Committee

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    Participatory Design

    Client design meetings

    • Functions

    • Prioritization

    • Structure and nomenclature

    • Test wireframes

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    Usability Testing - Round OneNomenclature and Structure

    • Meeting Place = Communicate (email/chat)

    • Discussion Board = Communicate (discussion board)

    • Email Administrator = Communicate (email)

    • Life Skills = Information

    • What’s Happening = Events

    • Education = Classes

    • Lost? = Site Map

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    Usability Testing – Round TwoNomenclature and Structure

    • Email or Chat = Meeting Place

    • Information, My World, Keepin’ It Real = Life Skills

    • Things to Do, Fun, Style = What’s Happening

    • Classes and School House = Education

    • Send Suggestion = Email Administrator

    • Site Map = Site Map

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    Usability Testing - Round ThreeVisual Design/Colors and Fonts

    • Color palette for adults, kidsand teens

    • Font selection for kids and teens

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    Visual Design - The Logo

    • Adults

    • Kids

    • Teens

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    Taking the Show on the Road

    • Demonstration/Test at the Buckingham Neighborhood Committee

    • Advisor/Provider role models

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    What About BOB?

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    Goto, K. & Cotler, E. (2002). Web redesign: Workflow that works. Indianapolis: New Riders Publishing.

    Krug, S. (2000). Don’t make me think! A common sense approach to web usability. Indianapolis: New Riders Publishing.

    Schuler, D. & Namioka, A. (1993). Participatory design: Principles and practices. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

    Wenger, E., McDermott, R., & Snyder, W. (2002). Cultivating communities of practice. Massachusetts: Harvard Business School Press.