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Participants in the CTLab are reflecting on how it went and thinking about what (if anything) we want to do next?


As part of KM4Dev’s overall Learning and Monitoring process we have been invited to consider the following questions:

  • How was your experience of the CTLab?
  • What are the main lessons learned?
  • How would you do it differently next time?

What next?

The [CTLab] email group will remain available if members wish to continue using it:

  • Would you like to stay part of the CTLab group?
  • If so, what would you like this group to do next?
  • How could you help?


(Private Response) Thanks for facilitating / pushing. I did however lost contact halfway. I guess it was a bit too much 'T' for me. I will see messages flying by here and will pick up on request and without such :-)

(Private Response) I think it would be great to have a practical project with deliverable outcomes, where we can all learn together. Since I became chair of the board of Dgroups a few months ago, I've come to learn that there is a lot of demand among the 18 partners of the Dgroups Foundation (www.dgroups.info ) to help people learn techniques of facilitation and moderation of email forums, and the different kinds of ways in which you can use email forums (eg small technical groups; large discussion forums). One possibility is that we could all explore possibilities about whether and how we might collaborate to take this forward as a practical project?

(Private Response) I think the main issue is that I would like to be involved more, but do not have the capacity to keep up with all the emails. I think it is a valuable tool, but it would be good if we could have a phone conference with the entire group once in a while to keep interest up.

(Bev) I wasn't expecting such a directed conversation in the CTLab. So my experience of it was simply different from my expectations. I'm intrigued by the way synchronous conversations (time-delineated telephone conferences or face-to-face meetings) are making a come-back - as a reaction to the email overload syndrome. Maybe the format should be a mix of email discussion and teleconferences?

(Peter) It was useful, but not as animated and broad as I had expected. [Main lessons learned?] That there are many different experiences and expectations on who does what regarding the stewardship of technology in online communities, and that that very much depends on who is there. [How would you do it differently next time?] Don't know. I'd almost say run the discussion in the main dGroup list! To get possibly more and more interesting contributions.

[Would you like to stay part of the CTLab group?] Yes, though I wonder if it could not survive by simply discussing on the main dgroup list, and documenting on the wiki, and pointing to that on the Ning. [Next steps?] Start by advertising the 'group' and present itself on Ning, with ponters to it on the main dGroup and on the wiki. Then with that group identify next topics of interest. [How could you help?] Set up the group on Ning, put pointers on wiki and regularly send reminders (every 3 months?) on the main dgroup list. Participate in identifying discussion topics.

Conference Call 18 October 2012

CTLab participants relected on this activity during a conference call:

  • CTLab started well. 60+ people signed up. But there was a drop off in participation.
  • Why drop off in participation? : Tech stewardship is a difficult topic; wasn't clear what was the purpose of CTLab
  • General discussion: Recognition that everyone is busy. Nature of our business is that people travel a lot and often have fluctuating work demands.
  • Goal is abstract for a lot of people. We want to get problem solved.
  • Tech changes everything. Challenges are new -- differentially recognized. not the same in Italy than in US or Zimbabwe.
  • Mark’s strategy had 2 phases: to benefit KM4dev as community and to make that conversation directly relevant to people's own situation
  • Dual focus worked well? yes absolutely. This approach can be sustaining. But is also ambitious. Takes a lot of negotiation about terms & context
  • CTlab approach evolved "in place".. people wanted a training course; came to "learn" rather than to work on some kind of emergent problem. Some more experienced folks expected less direction.