How we treat each other on the forums will show others what is OK and not OK to do so. But online learning is about so much more than "manners." How can we use our forums to connect people to each other?
- What should our community protocol be for engaging new people?
- When should we ask for help with our projects?
Making projects, making friends: Online Community as Catalyst for Interactive Media Creation
Participation and collaboration within online communities can support, inspire, and enable
young people to become active creators (and not just consumers) of interactive media.
Partner production: Animating Jodie the Superheroine
With bright colors and bold structure, a project listed in the Newest
Projects section on the front page caught the eye of Nadia, a
high school student and member of the Scratch online community.
Nadia, who enjoys creating animations with Scratch, went to view
the project, hoping it was an animation. But to her surprise, she
found that the project, created by another high school student
named Katie, an unknown Scratch community member from a different
country, was simply a static image, not interactive or animated:
“I was looking on the home page and I saw one that popped
out. It was of a cat-like creature. I read the description and thought
it was an animation, but it wasn’t. So I left it.”
A few weeks later, Nadia noticed another project by Katie,
which encouraged her to explore Katie’s collection of projects.
There Nadia found hundreds of these static images, with accompanying
notes describing the stories behind the images, focusing
on the adventures of a superheroine named Jodie. Nadia imagined
the possibilities of bringing these stories to life through animation
and proposed a collaboration to Katie by leaving a comment on
one of Katie’s projects: “Can I try to make moving sprites of your
characters? We could work together to make this animated if you
want. But only if you want to. Thanks. (I like these drawings
Katie responded positively to Nadia’s suggestion, and for more
than a year and a half, the girls have collaborated on animating
Jodie the Superheroine, producing ten episodes in a series about
Jodie. Through this collaborative process, initiated and maintained
solely by Katie and Nadia, Katie has learned more about programming
with Scratch, expanding her creative capacities beyond static
images, and Nadia has learned more about aesthetic expression
with Scratch, exploring new ways of communicating ideas and
emotions through drawing.
Group gatherings: Establishing critique groups for feedback
“The worst feeling in the world,” wrote Albert in a post on the
Scratch community forums, “is to pour your hard work and creativity
into a project, only to have it ignored completely by the
Scratch community.” With this post, Albert, a middle school English
teacher, had identifi ed a core challenge of the Scratch community.
Given the overwhelming number of new projects
appearing on the site every day, it is impossible for every project to
get the care, attention, and feedback it deserves.
In response to this challenge, Albert proposed a solution:
Scratchers could form critique groups, following the practices of
visual artists and writers. Critique groups consist of fi ve to seven
Scratchers who come together to discuss projects within a genre
and provide feedback to one another. Albert created a template for
providing feedback: “(1) Describe or summarize the project; (2)
Notice one thing you liked or could relate to about the project; (3)
Answer any specifi c questions the author has about the project; (4)
Ask questions to clarify the author’s intention and suggest alternative
choices the author could experiment with; and (5) Encourage
the author to keep working on it.”
Albert started a critique group as a model for others. Based on
the early successes with his group, Albert encouraged others to start
their own critique groups. Seeing the helpful comments and ideas
emerging from this small group format inspired other Scratchers,
and numerous critique groups have since been established. From
critique groups for different skill levels to critique groups for different
project genres, the groups have been a way for members of
the Scratch online community to connect their social and creative
practices by giving and receiving thoughtful feedback.
Read the full paper here: http://web.media.mit.edu/~mres/papers/NDYD-final.pdf
2.3 Team Up: How to Give Feedback