Stowaway

on 14 March 2008 at about 19:29

Community of Scholarly Practice

Posting this as a reminder more than anything else. Will flesh out so it makes sense some other time, but don't want to forget these ideas about Biblipedia.

At the moment, Biblipedia requires all (useful) contributions to be public - i.e. to get a book into your bibliography, you have to tag it. To tag it, you have to write a public note about it. In principle, this might be great, but in practice, it does mean that some people are happy to just write notes saying 'blah', or at best 'dissertation'.

So perhaps allowing tagging of books without necessitating the posting of notes would address this. Then, of course, you might as well allow people to post notes privately. This might be justified conceptually along the lines of a community of practice where newcomers (who wish to engage in 'legitimate peripheral participation') can test the waters without diving straight into the public arena. Of course, the down-side may be that you get more private postings than public. We'd just have to see how that goes.

Assessment mechanisms. On reflection, I've decided that I will fight tooth and nail (against my initial ideas) to ensure that use of Biblipedia is NOT part of assessment - and that uptake of Biblipedia is NOT developed through use of assessment.

Reason: simply that assessment by its nature turns all learning activities into chores. Requiring someone to contribute to Biblipedia is just as likely to turn the process of engaging in scholarly activity into a terrible chore as it is to 'demystify' the nature of scholarly activity. The last thing I want to be responsible for, through the deployment of Biblipedia, is that it actually contributes to the destruction of pleasure in engaging with scholarly and literary works, rather than the encouragment and support of such pleasure.

A consequence may be that Biblipedia will only ever serve a small community of self-selected users, but that must be better than it becoming an implement of tyranny and boredom.

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    Joe Flintham 2000 - 2015

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