Communities Resolving Our Problems: the basic idea
[SUP: Sharing Problems][THINK: Guidance][LEAP: Solving Problems]

Using LEAP
A Quick Example Using Email and Wordprocessing Software

LEAP is a four stage model for problem solving: Look, Evoke, Assess, and Perform or Publish. LEAP provides a wide range of electronic power tools to assist in the process. But the process of problem solving can be played out with just two common applications, email and a word processor. LEAP is also part of a larger model that will be discussed in a moment.

Where do problems come from? We look for them, though sometimes it seems that the problems go looking for us.

Look stage

A range of experiences and reading and viewing leads inevitably to situations and knowledge that raise problems. Email is frequently used to send and receive questions. Email can be seen as just one more avenue to interaction that brings issues to the surface to be addressed. Text in electronic mail can be copied into word processing documents that act as notebook pages on topics. As we make inferences about what to do with these problems, we reply to and send more electronic mail looking for further facts and opinions, data which again collects in our word processing "notebook" pages.

Evoke stage

As we build collections of ideas and data, we invent tentative solutions. If we are intent on change, we need to clarify and communicate our ideas, to ourselves and then to compose our ideas in such a way as to evoke responses from others. The word processor is an ideal tool for returning again and again to restructure and revise the text of our communication. But our effort is incomplete if we do not test our ideas by seeking feedback from others.

Assess stage

At its simplest, we can email an idea we have been thinking about to someone with interest in our topic and ask for their assessment of it. Further, most electronic mail systems provide ways to send entire documents as attachments to an email message. Either method provides an excellent way to reach friends, mentors, specialists and others who can provide formative review of a work in progress. The assess stage is a reminder to change your composition based on feedback from others.

Publish stage

In this stage, you publish your finished work. That is, email provides a means to tell others that a document is finished, the work is complete and to tell how others can obtain it. Email can also be the method of publication. Of course, one can share the paper document as a fax or send it through the postal service.

Using email and a word processor as examples keeps the process basic for beginners. However, there are many other applications that can be used with or instead of these two. For example, one might use a Web browser such as Netscape to Look for information across the Internet, a drawing program to compose a collage of images that Evokes a response from others, and an email program to gather Assessment of the collage as it develops and to Publish the finished image by placing it on a Web page.

Greater Detail

Once you have read the overview above, move on to the more comprehensive examples of LEAP. To do so, click on each of the links given on the previous LEAP page at each of the four stages of the model. Begin your clicks with the links closest to the bold-faced words (Look, Evoke, Assess, Publish) and work outword. This will give you further help with concepts and lead you to an array of local and global based computer tools.

LEAP, however, as a system for solving problems, is but one piece of a larger model, C.R.O.P., which stands for Communities Resolving Our Problems. The other branches of CROP can be reached on the previous Web page or below. The Stiill Unsolved Problems (SUP) branch collects problems of interest to a community and through searches of its database can share problems and add solutions and contributions that come from work with the LEAP branch. The THINK branch provides resources that stimulate questions and answers with critical, creative, and ethical perspectives.

A more thorough explanation of LEAP is also available. Use the links at the top of this web page to go directly to these branches.

If you have questions or suggestions about this page, contact me at the Pageauthor address below.

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Copyright, Dr. Robert S. Houghton, 1994-96.