The 2nd partner meeting took place in Dublin, Ireland, 16th - 17th June 2014, including representatives of partner organisations from Belgium, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Latvia, Romania and Scotland.
The major aims of the meeting were:
- to reflect the needs of online communites of practice in lifelong learning in the light of the first findings gained from interviews with members, experts, and stakeholders of European communities of practice, which were conducted in all partner countries through the first phase of the project,
- to prepare the final analysis of the interviews, which is expected to deliver concrete recommendations towards building the conceptual framework and roadmap for the DISCUSS platform,
- to determine the key processes of the online communities, and to identify the roles, tasks and concrete activities associated with each of those processes, and the interaction between them,
- to reflect the promotional activities of the project in the light of the commonly agreed dissemination strategy and the feedback received from dissemination activities so far.
After two days of intense debate the following results have been achieved:
- the discussion showed, that a deeper understanding of the functional parameters, as well as key processes associated with communities of practice will be necessary in order to build sustainable online communities. Therefore, the analysis of the interviews will be systematically linked with theoretical aspects of communities of practice, giving the overall development process a strong theoretical foundation.
- Furthermore, the partners agreed to invite the interviewees for feedback or additional comment but also using the opportunity to promote the emerging online communities of practice, to identify „issues" and „hot topics" of potential interest for community members, and to invite the interview partners to take on concrete tasks in the future online communities.
- During the workshop a range of key processes were identified, all of which are supposed to be essential for the growing of communities of practice in lifelong learning, such as animation and facilitation, processing of information and content management, administration and user management, technical maintenance and promotional activities. The DISCUSS partnership in the next step will describe the key elements and underlying principles for each of these processes, and from the results derive the conceptual framework,
- Last but not least the partners agreed to link dissemination more closely with exploitation and sustainability. Dissemination in European projects often is reduced to an informational task. However, dissemination at the same time creates opportunities for promotional activities, such as to attract multiplicators and users of the DISCUSS online platform. To link the different aspects in a coherent way will be an essential task of all future dissemination activities.
Our warmest thanks to Brian Dillon, NEXUS and the representatives from the DISCUSS partner organisations, who made the Dublin workshop an outstanding event.