learning landscapes in southern africa


The 8 Emerging Competencies of Online Interaction

Nancy White, Full Circle Associates and Tony Carr, Centre for Educational Technology, University of Cape Town
Breeze Presentation View attachment
Slideshow with narration (27min)

As we move more deeply into the online word, it becomes apparent that we carry many of our offline skills. However, they often render differently online. We are in a world that is defined as much by state of mind as place or time. It is a complex, boundary spanning and always changing world. In other words, a complex, emergent system. So what do we need to competently use the online tools and processes to achieve our goals? How do we work, play, learn, explore and network? These questions become increasingly important if we consider that effective online interaction skills are vital for employability and productive work across a proliferating number of professions.

This 10 day asynchronous workshop will open an avenue of exploration into eight competencies of online interaction. These are: 1. Self awareness; 2. Online communications; 3. Learning with others; 4. Facilitation skills; 5. Intercultural antennae; 6. Tolerance for ambiguity 7. Ability to switch contexts; and 8. Love your tools. This understanding of online competencies comes from extensive practice and conversation within a number of communities of practice concerned with online interaction in a range of settings. They are still emergent and only partly verified by research, but resonate with experience. This is an invitation to help refine them. So consider this an intertwining of conceptual and practical engagement.

Participants will be offered a perspective on the competencies at a theoretical or "meta" level. After an introduction to the competencies on day 1 we will then explore a competency per day with stories in application demonstrating their flexibility in different contexts. From there, the group will engage in conversation, some structured reflection and a few games to explore what the competencies mean in each individual's online life. The workshop will close on day 10 with an opportunity for participants to review their learning about all the competencies and to consider their future development paths.

At the conclusion of the workshop they will have explored how we prepare for an increasingly digital world - asked what competencies should we be nurturing and attending to in education and the workplace, assessed themselves on these competencies, and if interested, established a personal path for the continued development of the competencies.

Target Audience: anyone who finds themselves using online interaction as a key part of their work or personal life. Participation by posting to the forums is limited to 25 e/merge delegates. It is recommended that participants set aside some time each day to get the most out of the workshop.