Communities of Practice and your feedback
The Consortium wants to know what you think about Communities of Practice, if you are interested in these forums and what themes would work for you. A couple of questions but first…………
What is a community of practice?
A community of practice (CoP) is a group of people who share a common concern, a set of problems, or an interest in a topic and who come together to fulfill both individual and group goals. CoPs focus on sharing best practices and creating new knowledge to advance a domain of professional practice. Interaction on an ongoing basis is an important part of this. CoPs may rely on face-to-face meetings and web-based collaborative platforms to communicate, connect and conduct community activities. The diagram opposite provides a functional overview of the key elements of CoPs.
Potential benefits of CoPS
- Forum for problem solving: Most CoPs have an element of problem solving. A community brings together expertise from a variety of sources to focus on solving problems and challenges.
- Supporting knowledge creation and sharing: A key objective of a COP can be to develop new knowledge to improve the quality of practice within a specific domain. A knowledge development community may decide to focus on finding, collating, organising and distributing knowledge that their members use every day.
- Encourages better and best practice: A CoP focuses on developing, validating and disseminating best practice.
- Inspires innovation: CoPs may be based around issues of common interest to professional peer groups, with a focus on new and emerging areas of knowledge where there may be the opportunity to innovate. These groups can provide the basis for rapid dissemination of new ideas and resources.