Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the ISSS - 2014 United States, Proceedings of the 58th Meeting of ISSS, Washington DC, USA, July 2014

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Time and dynamic boundaries: the impact of action based learning

Susu Nousala


This work aims at opening for discussion the understanding of the "time" element that is critical for longitudinal development of robust group or action based community activity. The discussion is based on work occurring in multiple sites within a global project "The New Global".

The learning cycles or epicycle processes are relevant for action-based investigation for organizational and social structures. The question of group behavior maybe influenced by their positioning within a larger adaptive system, the type of focus or determined goals and the type of connections that have been developed.

The author has stated previously (Nousala 2014) that these types of community or group efforts be described as autopoietic systems, that are operating within larger adaptive societal web. The learning process involved in investigating these types of dynamic phenomena need to be themselves dynamic, providing methods that can explore, through longitudinal cycles expose these epicycles at work. The continuous recording of various processes through epicycles provide a means to "qualitatively measure" changes, which would normally go unseen (Hall et al. 2012; Hall et al., 2005; Nousala and Hall 2008; Wenger and Snyder 2000).

These recorded shifts in process provide a means to apply the action-based knowledge gained through project based learning for problem based solving. The success of applying action-based knowledge outcomes really relies on the quality of providing meaningful longitudinal approaches for mapping and recording changes in epicycles. This work This work aims at an exploration through current discussion, discourse and literature regarding the importance of time within the longitudinal approach, posing the question, what lengths of time are required or relevant to develop robust groups or community based actions? 

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