How ANYONE can compose ANYTHING collaborating from ANYWHERE

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Dr. Russell A. Primrose


Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. The Team 3. The Creative Concept 4. The Platform 5. The Created Output Appendix A-The Software and its Use Appendix B-Eight Steps of Reflective Thinking Appendix C-Glossary


1. Introduction

Because composition, particularly using this method, is creation in its rawest form, it will be difficult work. Each member must therefore covenant for three totally fractured-beyond-repair tempers before they can be allowed to quit.

It is my vision that we have found a way to generate and update curriculum and manuals in support of education. My mission is to develop this method by which members of a group can focus their expertise efficiently, effectively and quickly toward the generation of needed material, and to keep this material completely up-to-date as of any moment in time.

2. The Team

It is proposed that a team of carefully selected individuals be assembled and challenged to produce some goal product. These members can be in the same room, but probably will be spread across considerable distance. Some form of communication must exist between them, probably the Internet. Each member should be given in tentative form, a title, a vision statement, a mission statement, and an initial Table of Contents. These team members should have some needed expertise, but the willingness to learn is more important than expertise. Members should be Godly and anointed, that can be trusted to work as team members in the assigned effort. They should be creative and not given to vindictive, or punitive action. They should be articulate and able to generally support the vision and the mission as given to them. They will be required to be diligent in reading, editing, and generating material as the project requires on a regular fashion.

3. The Creation Concept

In this proposed method a group of individuals will focus their expertise, or the expertise of others, on the generation of much needed documentation. Each member should be given in tentative form a title, a vision statement, a mission statement, and an initial Table of Contents, but that is just a starting point.

Key to this process is that anyone can change anything at anytime. That even includes the material presented to them. Each team member is expected to read, edit, generate, and/or comment on the document as it emerges. All editing and comments go directly into the backed-up document. That could be a frightening concept until you remember that you carefully selected the team partly because you trust them to be team members and that they have demonstrated that they can work together. If a member or members insist on being arbitrary nothing can be generated and they must be removed for the good of the project.

It becomes apparent that some decision-maker must be close to the team to resolve contradicting changes that are passionately presented. Each change or generated paragraphs must have the author’s identity, and a date/time stamp that can show what was changed and what it was before.

No group can have all of the expertise needed for any one project. Additional needed input must be identified and sought to support the effort. This input could be from the internet, libraries, testimony of identified individuals, or other sources. This input must be carefully collected, documented, and protected for inclusion as appropriate into the emerging document.

Words can mean many things. For example “plasma” can mean one thing to a physicist and an entirely different thing to someone in a blood bank. Where there is potential for confusion in the meaning of a word, a glossary should be constructed as to what that word will mean in this document, and will be included as an appendix to the emerging document.

4. The Platform

Assuming the dialog will be on the Internet and will be facilitated by some software that is maintained and resident on the composition site and is rented with the site space. The following functionality is needed:

1. Internet Access. Each member must be granted Internet access in a protected environment and in some secure manner.
2 .Dual Use. Although it is not likely to happen often, two could be trying to edit the same part of the document at the same time. Some protocol must be developed to handle this situation, either by locking someone out, or be switching to IM side-communication between the two.
3. Communication Levels. I can envision three needed communication levels. The main one is the document generation level itself. The second is a comment level which pins comments to specific points in the document. The third is an immediate parallel communication, or IM, communication between two or more of the team members in real time with no permanent trace or trail left. A forth could be a Blog off to the side.
4. Challenge. When several alternate, yet passionately supported positions are presented there needs to be some sort of challenge mechanism available so that all group members can weigh in on what the final document should say, how it should be worded, and in what order.
5. Umpire. There needs to be some sort or umpire or administrative function available, either from inside or outside the group, which will have the final word on the final document as it emerges. That authority would probably be listed as the author of the document, with the group or team listed as contributors.
6. Changes. When a team member conceives of a better way of expressing something, or additional material that needs to be included, they simply make the needed changes and submit the material. The document shows the new material in place, and also shows somewhere the wording from what it was changed. Maybe we could show several levels of changes or several levels of editing.
7. Notes. Often a section of material will trigger a comment or a reference that should be noted. It may be that the person does not feel confident to suggest more precise wording or content, but they post the note to call it to the attention of the other group members. Such material may or may not find its way into the final document.

5. The Created Output

Intellectual property is an important consideration. In many Christian circles we are torn between the position that I remember on all Online Bible discs that said “Please copy and give to your friends and neighbors”, and the position that in essence says “You can read but don’t use”. Here we have deliberately created an environment where copying, moving, changing, or adding is easy- but when the document is printed out of the electronic media into hare-copy a decision must be made as to your legal stance on the use of the document.

Appendix A Software and its Use

Appendix B Eight Steps of Reflective Thinking Dr. Russell A. Primrose, July 2003

Eight steps of reflective thinking are used to guarantee complete coverage of a defined problem area in problem solving. These eight steps are an extension of the five-step method proposed by John Dewey[1]. Dewy combined step 1 and 2, had no step 4, or Information Analysis, and had no step 8 or Feedback Analysis which has been added.

Whether you have 20 minutes or 20 weeks the time that is allotted for the study should be roughly divided into three parts or phases. Phase 1 is roughly composed of steps 1, 2, 3, and 4. Phase 2 is then composed of steps 5, and 6. Phase 3 culminates in steps 7 and 8, and a final wrap-up of the total study. Since the study iterates continuously, it is expected that changes may be made to any or all of the steps preceding where you are, right up to the final report. The phase boundaries are only used to change leadership, study direction, and/or study depth. The eight steps are as follows:

1. Problem Definition 1. Formulate the problem into a definitive statement.

1. Define any terms that might be misunderstood or misinterpreted into a working glossary. The definitions proposed are decided upon by the group, only for the duration of the exercise, and my not reflect all individual interpretations. This glossary will be a useful supplement to the final report document.

1. Problem Analysis 1. Diagnose the problem in terms of cause and effects. 1. Describe existing evils, effects or symptoms of the problem together with such interpretations and evidence as have significantly affected you thinking.

1. Follow up with a statement of the cause or causes of the symptoms as you understand them. 1. State the probable cause of the symptom.

1. Give the factual material upon which your conclusions are based.

1. If the problem lends itself to more efficient coverage by subgroups, the problem should be divided among logical subgroups.

1. The problem definition should be modified continually as the analysis proceeds.

1. The results of the problem analysis should be documented in written form, and should include background information, and justification for the need of a solution to the problem as presented. 1. Criteria Selection 1. Create a concise statement of the standard or standards which in your opinion should be considered in judging the possible solutions. 1. Give special attention to the formulation of definite criteria for the judgment of a final solution.

1. These standards should represent the values which you think are important and which should be considered in any solution.

1. Arrange criteria in order of priority.

1. Assign an arbitrary value or weight to each selected criterion from 1 to 10 with 10 being high, representing the arbitrary value of that criterion to the group.

1. Information Analysis 1. Identify the information still needed for a solution of the problem.

1. Gather, or make plans for obtaining the information still required. 1. Arrange an itinerary of expert testimony that can be scheduled to give information to the group about the problem as defined. Keep a careful log of the information given.

1. Arrange for required interviews by individuals, subgroups, or group. Keep careful log of the information given.

1. Arrange for the use of the needed libraries or repositories.

1. The testimony of all experts and other information gathered should be carefully documented.

1. Propose Solutions 1. Using brainstorming techniques[2] propose and record as many different solutions as can be thought of with no value-judgment being made.

1. Set forth those of the proposed solutions to the problem which you think merit consideration.

1. For each of the final proposed solutions a careful evaluation of how well each of the criteria presented in step 3 are met (The weighted factor analysis[3]). For each proposed solution an arbitrary factor of 1 to 10, with 10 being best fit, should be made for each established criteria. This factor should be multiplied by the importance factor assigned in step 3, and the collection of all of these numbers, one for each criterion, should be added together. The proposed solution with the highest number should be the leading contender.

1. Do the problem definition, the problem analysis, the criteria selected, and the information analysis still seem adequate (steps 1, 2, 3, and 4)? If the leading contender does not seem to be the one that should be picked, then you need to reexamine the criteria list for completeness, reexamine your feeling of how important each criteria is to you, reexamine your evaluation of each proposed solution as to how well the group feels that it meets the criteria, recheck the mathematics,--or believe what this exercise is trying to tell you. There may be hidden agendas present that are throwing you off and which must be incorporated.

1. Use the biggest part of the time allotted to the study in careful reiteration of steps 1 to 5 to this point again and again to avoid premature selection. The selection process, steps 6 to 8, should result in implementation and not rationalization for a premature and inappropriate selection.

1. Select Solution(s) 1. Using the technique suggested in step 5-c or whatever means the group chooses, select a tentative solution.

1. Declare the basis for your solution, such as: 1. The solution deals adequately and practically with the problem.

1. The solution measures up best in terms of the standards and criteria.

1. List the details of the proposed plan.

1. Discuss and acknowledge the disadvantages, the advantages, (use the PMI method suggested by deBono[4][5]) and the other aspects of the proposed plan.

1. Implement Solution(s) 1. List possible methods of putting the proposed solution into operation. Document the facts and the ideas used.

1. Develop a workable, practical method of scheduling the solution into operation.

1. Prepare a time-sequence analysis for implementation of the plan.

1. Feedback Analysis 1. Establish suitable quantifiable measures of performance which can be used to monitor and evaluate in some way the operation of the selected solution. Compare the expected level of operation with the established criteria in step 3.

1. Establish necessary criteria for determination if successful operation has been attained or if additional correction is necessary.

1. Establish method for the reevaluation of the solution as to its elimination of the problem, its provision for the obsolescence of the proposed solution, or for the consideration of a significant change of the problem situation. Provide for our “help” to self-destruct in not needed.

Appendix C Glossary

[1] Dewy, John; How We Think, p 4-16, 108-118, D. C. Heath & Co., 1933 [2] Osborn, A. F.; Applied Imagination, 3rd Ed. New York, Scribner, 1963 [3] Kepner, C. H. and Tregoe, B. B.; The Rational Manager, p 44-50, Kepner-Tregoe, Inc., Princeton, NJ, 1976 [4] deBono, Edward; Lateral Thinking, Harper Colophon Books, 1973 [5] deBono, Edward; Learn to Think, Ed. 2. Capra/NEW, 1982

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