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ERIC Number: EJ1148487
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1555-9734
Designing an Engaged Swarm: Toward a "Techne" for Multi-Class, Interdisciplinary Collaborations with Nonprofit Partners
McCarthy, Seán
Community Literacy Journal, v11 n1 p106-117 Aut 2016
This essay proposes a model of university-community partnership called "an engaged swarm" that mobilizes networks of students from across classes and disciplines to work with off-campus partners such as nonprofits. Based on theories that translate the distributed, adaptive, and flexible activity of actors in biological systems to organizational networks that include humans, swarms are well-suited to providing a diverse range of responses to complex problems. As such, swarming tactics can be useful when applied to nonprofit organizations that do not have the capacity or time to redesign their communications strategy across print, web, and social media platforms. Employing a case study of three classes that collectively produced a wide range of multimedia artifacts for a nonprofit in a single semester, the essay illustrates how a swarm embedded within a university operates, and concludes by providing a schema for modifying swarms to future partnerships.
Community Literacy Journal. Department of Writing, Rhetoric, & Discourse, DePaul University, 802 West Belden Avenue, Chicago, IL 60614. Tel: 906-370-0206; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A