Enable Collaboration and Increase the
Capacity to Develop Communities
The next generation of enterprise application infrastructures
and solutions will enable new modes of collaboration at all levels:
- Within enterprises. In tomorrows e-learning experiences,
previously unattainable levels of collaboration will be achieved
between and among learners, faculty and other support staff. These
collaborations will change the dynamics of many existing processes.
- Between enterprises and their suppliers, providers, and educational
partners. Tomorrows enterprise application solutions
will both require and support new levels of intimacy between enterprises
and their suppliers and solution providers. In many cases, the
staffs of these solution providers will function like extensions
of enterprise staff, but with more structured performance agreements.
- Between individuals in the enterprise and external peers.
Collaboration between individuals and peers outside the enterprise
will be facilitated dramatically by enterprise application solutions,
adding substantial value. Faculty and staff will be able to share
insights more effectively with peers and colleagues.
The value of different kinds of collaboration will
vary from process to process, setting to setting.
Collaboration will leverage
technological and human networks to share tacit knowledge, develop
insight, and make enterprise processes more responsive to client
Communities of Practice. The ability to create communities
of practice will be among the most important of the new competencies
developed by faculty, staff, and other stakeholders. These communities
will cross organization boundaries, fusing the power of professional
societies and associations with the instrumental needs of individual
Consider just a few examples of the communities of
practice enabled by the next generation of enterprise application
- Applications implementation communities are created by
enterprises implementing ERP systems, LMS/ LCMS, or other major
applications. They include online repositories of technical and
process information, help desks, and communities of users, organized
by functional or process subgroups. These communities are the
foundation for participation in solution provider user groups.
- Disciplinary communities of practice would link learners
in a discipline in ways that span and bridge experiences in individual
courses. Such linkages could both complement course-based experiences
and enable redesign of course experiences. These communities may
not represent traditional disciplines at all, but emerging, hybridized
disciplines or aggregations of integral, transpersonal knowledge
that will constitute the curricula of the future.
- Enrollment services communities of practice linking an
enterprises cross-trained generalists in enrollment services
(spanning admissions, recruitment, registration, advising, financial
aid, and other support services) linked with professional societies
and their bodies of knowledge and tradecraft. Similar communities
could evolve for other academic and administrative support processes.
- Adjunct faculty and consulting communities of practice
for consulting adjunct faculty, providing departmental management,
support networks, and access to pedagogical resources and linkage
to disciplinary learning resources. This community would link
currently disjointed adjuncts into the mainstream of the learning
community and change the dynamics of the adjunct faculty experience.