I first came across Cooperative Development (CD) when I was a Master’s student at Aston University. Although at first skeptical, I soon found that CD was a powerful face-to-face tool for professional self-development and reflective practice.
However, living in Tokyo meant that I often found myself commuting at long distances to engage in face-to-face sessions with willing colleagues. As a keen Instant Messenger (IM) user to chat with friends and family in Japan and back home, I soon started to think about combining text chat and CD. In that way, I would not need to commute to CD sessions, I would have the opportunity to work with people online regardless of their geographical location, and text chat would slow down the responses and be easier for the Understander to remember what the Speaker has said and reflect it back to him or her. Thus, for my Master’s dissertation, I adapted CD to online IM use and coined the term ‘IMCD’ for this kind of exchange.
Most recently, I am near to completion of a PhD in which the focus is on using IMCD to support the research process for distance-learning students, on-campus students, and teacher-researchers.
I believe both CD and IMCD to play a powerful role in helping the individual to develop ideas and move forward, whether it is with the individual’s pedagogic practice or own research projects.
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