Next weekJonathan Silk, the recipient of the 2012 Pepperdine Aware for his Action Research project in the the Pepperdine M.A.L.T program, will present his research in CPsquare’s R&D Series. We’ll have a synchronous conversation as well as an asynchronous discussion.  Noah Sparks, one of the recipients of the award in 2011, will host.  Here is some introductory material provided by Jonathan for the asynchronous discussion.   (Be forewarned: this is very rich stuff, so you might want to allocate a bit of time to browse through it!)

Building an On-Line Community of Practice with Digital Storytelling (Leadercast)

I conducted my research on the MILSPACE On-Line Community of Practice and focused on integrating Leadercast videos into the main discussion forums to increase interaction and discussion between the interviewees and the viewers

What is a Leadercast?

A Leadercast is a digital video interview ( a form of digital storytelling) with an Army Platoon Leader (Lieutenant) or Company Commander (Captain) who shares their leadership experiences serving in combat. The video interview is then posted in the MILSPACE on-line Community of Practice for other members to view and interact with the interviewee further if they desire. Here is a short example:

Here is a link to a short introductory video for my action research project: http://youtu.be/1AUG4K-8MXI

Here is a link to an example of a Leadercast video: http://youtu.be/r2NoPBourTE

Background on the MILSPACE Community of Practice:

The MILSPACE Community of Practice is a dispersed, on-line, virtual Community of Practice dedicated to the professional development of U.S. Army junior officers (Lieutenants and Captains) as well as West Point Cadets, Reserve Officer Training Corps Cadets , and Officer Candidates. The center accomplishes this by enabling experiences of peer-to-peer learning through connection and conversation of Army officers and cadets.

The MILSPACE Community of Practice has several forums dedicated to over 20,900 members but the scope of this action research project will be the Platoon Leader, Company Command, and Leadercast forums. The Platoon Leader and Company Command forums are the main discussion areas for Lieutenants and Captains respectively. These forums exist to connect Lieutenants and Captains (Also referred to as company grade officers) – past, present and future in professional discussion to foster professional development and organizational learning among cadets and company grade officers.  These officers are both male and female and located all over the world at various Army installations. Members get on-line and engage in the forums from these different locations. Some are deployed in Afghanistan in combat, others are located in Germany and South Korea conducting training for their respective missions, and still others are in the United States training in preparation for deployment to Afghanistan or Kuwait. The West Point and Reserve Officer Training Corp cadets are college students in undergrad programs to be commissioned as Army Officers, and the Officer Candidates are in the Army Officer Candidate School going through training to be commissioned as  Army Officers as well.

The Leadercast forum has over 1,500 video interviews conducted with platoon leaders and company commanders of all branches sharing experiences they have had in combat. These videos have the potential to be the catalyst to great discussions where knowledge from the interviewees (Platoon Leader or Company Commander with combat experience) can be transferred to the viewers (recipient). Recipients can catalog the knowledge from discussions and recall it at a later time and then apply it to a relevant situation.

Sharing My Practice

Every year the MILSPACE Community of Practice hosts the “On Fire Rendezvous” which is an annual in person meeting of the community leaders. The purpose of the Rendezvous is to bring together the entire team of topic leads and support group in a face-to-face session. Every year there are changes in topic leads and support group members. Here is a blog post about the Rendezvous that occurred last April: http://jonathansilk-maltwarrior-ar.blogspot.com/2012/04/milspace-community-of-practice-on-fire.html I would also like to share some of the artifacts from the community. Every month the community publishes an article in Army Magazine. The article is the highlights from one of the discussions held the previous month. Here are links to some select article I thought the community would find interesting:

The Crush of Requirements from Higher Headquarters

http://cc.army.mil/pubs/armymagazine/docs/2012/CC_ARMY_%28Aug2012%29_Crush-from-Higher.pdf

Have You Witnessed Leadership?

http://cc.army.mil/pubs/armymagazine/docs/2011/CC_ARMY%28July2011%29_HaveYouWItnessedLeadership.pdf

How We Develop Professional Expertise:

http://cc.army.mil/pubs/armymagazine/docs/2011/CC_ARMY%28May2011%29professionalExpertise.pdf

Advice for New Lieutenants:

http://cc.army.mil/pubs/armymagazine/docs/2012/CC_ARMY_%28Jul2012%29_Advice-for-2LTs.pdf

Third-Generation Leadership-Redux:

http://cc.army.mil/pubs/armymagazine/docs/2012/CC_ARMY_%28Jun2012%29_3GL.pdf

More articles are available at: http://cc.army.mil/pubs/armymagazine/