Vicki Suter

Discovering the power of good questions

Do presence, power and collaboration play together nicely?

The focus of my work has been on the development of the sense of presence in virtual worlds used for (formal) collaborative learning in higher education.One dimension of my presence construct is individual agency, defined as the extent to which we have the power to carry out actions toward an end we desire or need, in the virtual world. So yes, a sense of power is an essential ingredient for the sense of presence as I’ve conceptualized it, the result of an ongoing collaborative action-based process, a contextualized human experience of collaborative learning activity that evolves over time.

The other kind of power associated with the sense of presence is the power of the community, or community agency. In another place metaphor, we speak of “common ground” around which community members can gather, and from which emerges action. Grounding is necessary to community effectiveness, it is the way we agree upon our goal and develop a common language, the rules of engagement, tasks that will be undertaken to accomplish the goals, how the tasks will be assigned, and what tools are to be appropriated by the group. Grounding represents sense-making, in context, of ambiguous situations.

And that, my friends, is why all of my classes have a team component.

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This entry was posted on April 14, 2013 by in Collaborative Learning, Community agency, Individual agency, sense of presence, Teaching.
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