Orientation Design Commentary

The Orientation is the only required activity in the CIP. It sets the context, takes care of some basic tasks so everyone starts from the same place, provides initial practice in reading and writing items, lets everyone know what's expected and also lets you be known to others through the on-line Personal Profile.

You can also see the CIP Map and the Schedule, but you are not allowed into any of the activities before completing all the Orientation tasks.

The Orientation is much like registration at a face-to-face conference where you check in, pick up registration materials, take care of any housekeeping details, and so on. And it opens a few days in advance of the CIP for early arrivals, just like a conference registration desk.

Orientation creates a boundary around the Community, and the software facilitation agents make sure that all the details are covered in advance so your participation in the CIP will be smooth.


Leading up to the Orientation are the announcements which are delivered only once. All announcements are available for rereading at any time from the Map.

Announcement #1 is the first item you see in the CIP. It describes who we are -- our diversity of geography, experience, professional and other roles, and the like. It also asks who we are together. It's an introductory snapshot of the whole community, like the Earth from space, and has a poetic or mythic purpose.

The rest of the announcements are explanatory information about the Orientation process, the CIP application and features for conversation about the application itself, the CIP Project Team, and other technical information of interest to everyone.

Orientation Navigator

The Orientation Navigator shows a two-lane road with a yellow line. The required orientation tasks are in yellow boxes arranged along the yellow line, leading up to the last one, Enter Community. They are:
Community Covenant

The Covenant provides a broad set of norms and guidelines for the Community. These may change and evolve during the CIP, but it's important to have beginning guidelines as a starting place. An earlier draft of the Covenant was included in the CIP information packet that all participants received before applying.

The purpose of the Covenant is to let everyone know what is expected and encouraged in the CIP. It also describes the norms around confidentiality.

You are asked to make your agreement with the Covenant explicit. There are buttons for Agree and Disagree, with the option of making a comment as well. If you Disagree, you are asked to call Peter and Trudy Johnson-Lenz to discuss your concerns so that the issues can be resolved. Only those who clearly agree to the Covenant may participate in the CIP.

Personal Profile

Everyone in the CIP has a Personal Profile with his or her photograph (if provided) and basic access information. It is a way that everyone can begin to be known to others. There are Author Profile buttons in many places in the CIP so that you can see the profile information for the person whose comment you're reading.

During Orientation, you are asked to read your Profile and make any necessary changes, as well as write a self-description and choose keywords for Topics of Interest and for Affinities, Clans, and Kinships.

Already completed profiles are available as examples so you can see how others have described themselves.

The initial list of Topics of Interest was designed to include at least one keyword that might apply to everyone in the Community, based on application information and other conversations. You can add other keywords as well, which then can be used by others.

Similarly, the list of Affinities, Clans, and Kinships (loose social networks) was designed to include everyone, and additional keywords can be added.

Instructions and suggestions for completing each section of the Personal Profile are provided on the form itself.

Creating Folders

The Cafe and the Open Space both use private folders in the application to hold topics you've joined for participation. This is a way to reduce overload. You choose which topics are of interest and ignore the rest.

Private folders must be created by each user. We have not found a way to do that automatically. As a result, the Orientation requires that you create two private folders, name them, and indicate from where they inherit their design. Detailed instructions are provided, including example screens. These folders must be created before you can participate in either the Cafe or the Open Space.

Updating Your Address Book

In your Address Book, you can keep a list of people to whom you frequently send Notes electronic mail. When you are typing in the name(s) of e-mail recipients, Notes will try to match them from those in the Address Book and display them for you, saving you the trouble of remembering them or typing in their full names.

As a convenience for the CIP, we have included the Notes e-mail addresses for all participants in the application. When you click the Update Address Book button during Orientation, those addresses are automatically put in your personal Address Book.

Reflection Groups

Some CIP members have requested Reflection Groups -- small groups of no more than five people with whom you can reflect, compare notes, share insights, and learn together throughout the CIP.

To assess how much interest there is in Reflection Groups, the Orientation process includes a description of their purpose and asks you to indicate your interest in participating. There are buttons at the end of the Reflection Group description for Yes, I'm interested, and No, thanks anyway. Those who say they are interested are also encouraged to send us e-mail with the names of specific people they would like to have in their group.

Depending on the level of interest, we will either provide groupware support for Reflection Groups or provide instructions for setting up e-mail groups.

Who's Here

The Who's Here roster is the place to let everyone know when you're here and when you're away from the CIP for more than a few days because of travel, vacation, or whatever.

The Who's Here button on the Orientation navigator displays a description of this tool and asks you to click I'm Here! to check yourself in. This teaches you about using Who's Here and also marks you as Here in the All Items - Member Activity view available from the Map.

Other Things Available During Orientation

These are also available on the Orientation navigator:
Entering Community

After you've completed each task in the Orientation, you can click Enter Community. You'll see a photograph of stone steps and a path to follow. When you click the steps to enter the Community, you will see the nexus notice for the week.

If you haven't completed all the tasks, you'll see the status of your Orientation, and the facilitation agent will remind you of the one(s) yet to be finished. While you can enter the community and go to the Map, you will not be allowed to participate in any activities until Orientation is complete. If you try to enter an activity, you will be taken back to Orientation.

After Orientation Is Complete

After you've completed the Orientation, it no longer appears on your way into the CIP. Instead, you'll go directly to the nexus notice of the week.

You can always revisit the Orientation from the Map.

Nexus Notice

The nexus notice reminds you of which week we're in (1-20), which conversational practice(s) we're focusing on, and other timely information. The notice changes weekly.

In addition, the presence and activity indicator at the top shows how many people have checked in and are here. This is updated from the Who's Here information. It also shows information about current activities, such as how many tables there are in the Cafe, how many people have responded in the Opening Ceremony, and so on.

All Items - Member Activity

In the All Items - Member Activity view available from the Map, all Orientation tasks are noted for each member so you can see:

From the 1996 Awakening Technology Community of Inquiry and Practice (CIP)
Content and Groupware Design 1996 Awakening Technology.

Awakening Techno
logy...*...333 S. State Street V-233...*...Lake Oswego, Oregon 97034
(503) 635-2615 voice...*...we@johnson-lenz.com
From www.awakentech.com on 06/23/2024 ---- item last modified on 05/31/1997.