OER14 homeApplication › Ms Rochelle Lockridge

A DS106 thing happened on the way to the 3M Tech Forum

Tuesday 9:00-10:30 (2), Grainger Suite

Type: Short paper

Theme: Building and linking communities of open practice

http://rockylouproductions.com/blog_wp/category/3m-ds106/ #oer14 #abs109


Ms Rochelle Lockridge, Strategic Analyst, 3M, [email protected]
Mr Alan Levine, Educational Consultant, CogDog It, [email protected]
Dr Mariana Funes, Cognitive Coach, [email protected]



DS106 (http://ds106.us/) is a computer science course in Digital Storytelling at the University of Mary Washington (UMW), framed on principles of the web as a platform for storytelling. Students learn to manage their own digital domain in the process of understanding storytelling and creating media. In 2011, DS106 opened up to a global community of online participants.

This case study explores how DS106 tools, methodology and philosophy were adapted into the corporate world at 3M to build community, collaboration, and effective global communication skills. Our hypothesis was the pedagogy and assignments of the DS106 open course could be modified for delivery on a corporate intranet, using internal creation and communication tools standard for 3M employees. We hoped to learn how the course experience could work within cultural and technological constraints of a corporate environment.
Participants in 3M-DS106 were based in Minnesota, Texas and California. A majority were active members in the 3M Technical Collaboration chapter, a subset of the 3M Technical Forum (12,000 plus global members), which fosters communication across a diverse technical community.


The open DS106 course evolved from years of undergraduate courses at UMW. With no course offered for Fall 2013, an open online version without an assigned teacher was built from previously offered classes.
3M-DS106 began with an open invitation to several hundred users on Spark (3M’s Twitter equivalent for their technical community). As a network connector, Rochelle Lockridge customized and re-published assignments from the open DS106 class and shared back to the open community the activities of the 3M participants. The 3M-DS106 ‘Salon Model’ included weekly meetings held over lunch, to discuss assignments, done independently using 3M blogs and Spark as communication tools.


The 3M participants were interviewed at the end of their experience. Their blogs record their growth and reflective practice. In narrating their processes, they found value in giving and receiving feedback via comments, and were developing a greater capacity for relationship building. With more comfort in using creation tools and 3M’s social networking platforms, they increased their effectiveness for technology transfer.
Participants identified a need and desire for integrating the course experience into their technical work. Using tools in real time on 3M related projects within a community of learners to provide support was deemed a highly effective practice. Based on the positive results, the 3M Technical Collaboration chapter will sponsor a yearlong 3M-DS106 course incorporating more 3M specific communication tools with a monthly focus to provide participants more flexibility, time, and practice.


Research suggests action learning is more likely to generate key workplace competencies than more traditional classroom based ones. The 3M-DS106 model may also help address challenges faced in a corporate environment, such as Intellectual Property concerns, by its use of layers of openness. Our approach was to work within the ‘open organisational web’ rather than the full open web. This may have provided a layer of safety for the organisation to allow the development over time of a default open setting necessary for innovation.


"3M-DS106 on a Mission of Open" http://youtu.be/AlmxrDR2rto
"OER14 3MDS106 Trailer" http://youtu.be/NxZHfTSby6A
"3M-DS106 is Open for Business" http://youtu.be/sfF_LqHLKY0


Recap recording


Further details

Keywords: openness, ds106, storytelling, community, 3M, corporate,

Website: http://rockylouproductions.com/blog_wp/category/3m-ds106/

Ms Rochelle Lockridge, Strategic Analyst, 3M

Twitter: @Rockylou22

Twitter abstract: A #DS106 Thing Happened OTW to the 3M Tech Forum: How wildly open online course creatively succeeds behind corp firewall