Moving practice: from classrooms to MOO rooms
We discuss design considerations in moving practice through the boundary from physical to virtual places. Although the examples are grounded in a school environment, we believe that the design tradeoffs apply to any networked collaborative space. The context for discussion is Pueblo, a MOO-based, cross-generation network learning community centered around a K-6 elementary school. The development of practice in Pueblo draws upon teachers' and students' experience with semi-structured classroom participation frameworks - informal structures of social interaction which foster certain ways of thinking, doing and learning through guided activities and conversations. We have translated several familiar frameworks into the Pueblo setting, using the classroom versions as models to be adapted and transformed as they are realigned with the affordances of the MOO. We identify four design dimensions that have emerged as particularly interesting and important in this process: audience, asynchrony and synchrony, attention and awareness, and prompts for reflection. We illustrate design choices in each dimension using several of the participation frameworks tht have been translated into Pueblo. We discuss the relation between MOO affordances and design choices and provide examples of successful and unsuccessful alignment between them.
O'Day, V. L.; Bobrow, D. G. ; Bobrow, K.; Shirley, M.; Hughes, B. ; Walters, J. Moving practice: from classrooms to MOO rooms. Computer Supported Cooperative Work: The Journal of Collaborative Computing. 1998; 7(1): 9-45.