One of my tasks for the next few weeks is to investigate Drupal, and specifically its ability to support the online interactions of a community of practice. We have a few projects that will involve some form of online interaction by students and professionals who are spread throughout southern Alberta, and it looks like Drupal may provide most, if not all, of the functionality to support these communities. I'll be specifically looking at Drupal in the context of:

  • personal and professional reflection (blogging - either privately or to selected audiences)
  • information gathering
  • asynchronous communication - forums, threaded discussions, etc...
  • communication with peers and/or instructors
  • combinations of the above to form an "ePortfolio" type of view on the whole shebang, suitable for sharing with potential employers, or others
  • likely other stuff

I'm actually pretty excited to be working on this stuff - it feels like I've been working so long on media-production-supporting-utilities that I've been out of the loop on the whole community side of things. We'll be looking at integrating Drupal with Pachyderm (likely via a download/upload process, rather than a direct tie-in), and the institutional WebDAV storage/sharing system. Should be fun.