Description: use of activity structures, metaphors, and language of academic settings to support the norms and assumptions of teaching and learning. Examples include: 1) the academic campus metaphor for Tapped In as a whole 2) the discussion seminar format with defined roles of leader and facilitator, and 3) projection of text pages in the Tapped In window and other Web pages in a parallel window to provide visual information and focus discussion (akin to projection of slides in a seminar or classroom).
The Rationale Behind the Feature (Specific Design Principle):
To support the norms and assumptions of teaching and learning in a way that takes advantage of participants? existing tacit knowledge and allows them to focus on the content of their topic and the particular social interactions to support it.
Evidence of success: A typical monthly Event Calendar at TAPPED IN includes 30-50 ASO seminars on topics such as social studies, language learning, science, math, school administration, technology coordinators, and TAPPED IN Tours and Tips?. Projection is often cited by users as one of the most useful features of TAPPED IN. The existence of cultural models or other tacit social structures are often most apparent through counter examples which illustrate violation of the implicit forms. In TAPPED IN, the leaders talk about times when they have to intervene with participants who seemed to assume a different model for activity. For example, a university professor and her students on a tour of TAPPED IN entered a discussion seminar and proceeded to talk amongst themselves out loud (not using whisper), and hence were reminded by the staff to remain quiet or leave the room during the seminar.
References: Gray, J. H., & Tatar, D. (in press). Sociocultural Analysis of Online Professional Development: A Case Study of Personal, Interpersonal, Community, and Technical Aspects. In S. Barab, R. Kling, & J.H. Gray (Eds.) Designing for Virtual Communities in the Service of Learning. Cambridge University Press.
Schank, P., Fenton, J., Schlager, M., & Fusco, J. (1999). From MOO to MEOW: Domesticating technology for online communities. In C. Hoadley (Ed.), Proceedings of Computer Support for Collaborative Learning 1999 (pp. 518-526). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.