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What is Community of Practice (CoP)

Didactic Strategies and Resources for Innovative Geography Teaching
A community of practice is a group of people with a shared concern or goal, or interests, who interact regularly to develop a shared practice. For an introduction to CoPs, see .
Published in Chapter:
Using Inquiry-Based Learning Approaches to Teach Undergraduate Geography
Rachel A. Spronken-Smith (University of Otago, New Zealand), Simon Kingham (University of Canterbury, New Zealand), and Ralf A. Ohlemüller (University of Otago, New Zealand)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-9598-5.ch001
This chapter discusses the use of inquiry-based approaches in teaching geography. Following an introduction of definitions for inquiry approaches and how they might be used in teaching, two case studies are presented. The cases involve similar final-year research methods courses in which students work in groups to address real-world issues or problems. Both courses are highly rated by students, and there is evidence of students attaining high-level learning outcomes. The benefits and challenges of teaching using inquiry approaches are discussed, and articles for the use of inquiry-based approaches in other geography contexts are provided. Finally, recommendations are provided for teachers wishing to use such approaches, whether they wish to incorporate small inquiry activities in their courses through to the use of inquiry assignments or the design of an inquiry course.
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Growing the eLIDA CAMEL Community of Practice Case Study
Informal self-organising group of practitioners committed to a field of shared interest who meet together on a long-term basis to collaborate, exchange information and share expertise about practice in this domain.
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Digitalization of K-12 Teacher Training: Reforming Professional Development Practices
A group of people with common subject knowledge or background, professional relationships, and interests or experiences, who collaborate to work towards a common goal or purpose.
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Back to Basics: Electronic Collaboration in the Education Sector
Refers to the process of how learning occurs in a social context and that learners and instructors (teachers) come together through a shared interest or problem and collaborate over time to share ideas, experiences, and solutions to build the community. Within CoP, teacher peer mentoring offers a model for teachers to come together to learn from one another and to support each other in the learning process.
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The Generative Potential of Appreciative Inquiry as an Essential Social Dimension of the Semantic Web
These are people who come together around common interests and expertise. They create, share, and apply knowledge within and across the boundaries of teams, business units, and even entire organizations—providing a concrete path toward creating a true knowledge organization.
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The Use of Weblogs in Language Education
A group of individuals who engage in and contribute to the practices of their communities through active participation and therefore share a common identity. The term community of practice was created by Etienne Wenger and Jean Lave in 1991, who positioned learning in the context of social interaction. One substantial part of knowledge acquisition in communities of practice is the construction of knowledge through participation in a community.
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Towards a Learning Organization: Navigating Barriers, Levers, and Employees' Capacity for Change
A self-organizing group of people who collectively decide to engage in shared learning with respect to a common profession and body of knowledge. A CoP facilitates mutual professional learning and provides opportunities for knowledge exchange. Members of a CoP rely on mutual interactions (face-to-face or virtually) to build a sense of community for problem-solving and collective learning.
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Using Hybrid Gamification to Build Community and Self-Efficacy Among Diverse University STEM Students
Introduced by Lave and Wenger (1991) , a CoP comprises members with varied interests, differing contributions, and varied viewpoints who “share understandings concerning what they are doing and what that means in their lives and for their communities” (p. 98).
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WebCEF: An Online Collaboration Tool for Assessing Foreign Language Proficiency
A group of people who share an interest, a craft or a profession. Through sharing their practice, group members learn from each other and develop personally or professionally.
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Building Interaction Online: Reflective Blog Journals to link University Learning to Real World Practice
A group of active supportive practitioners who interact regularly sharing experiences and common interests who have a passion for what they do. CoP’s can be created with the goals of gaining further knowledge and understanding about a profession in order to improve practice or to support members.
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Impacting Practice: The Role of Digital Credentials in Social Learning Communities
Communities of practice are groups of people who come together over shared focus on a specific area of work or knowledge domain. The group works and learns regularly together and improve their practice through that continuous interaction(s). There are 3 domains of a CoP: domain, practice, and community.
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Teacher Online ELT Experiences in a Rural Primary School in China During the COVID-19 Pandemic
A concept developed by Jean Lave and Etienne Wenger that describes a group in which people with a shared objective come together to work collectively to achieve that objective.
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Networks of Excellence as Virtual Communities
Represents a concept that refers to the process of social learning that occurs when people who have a common interest in some subject or problem collaborate over an extended period to share ideas, find solutions, and build innovations.
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Promoting Digital Teaching and Learning: Faculty Development Options for Distance Learning Instructors
A group of individuals who share a common interest and interact in a way that promotes the interest. In higher education, these COPs can be referred to as faculty learning communities.
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Making Educator Professional Development More Accessible and Inclusive With Mobile Teacher: A Global Community of Practice Founded in Appreciative Inquiry
A formal or informal learning community where those with varying teaching experience engage with each other because they are interested in sharing and developing expertise, and this relates to their very identity.
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Improving Novice EFL Teachers' TPACK With Padlet Self-Reflective E-Portfolios: Synchronous Online Teaching Delivery Continuous Professional Development Program
A group of individuals who work together around a shared responsibility. It is distinct from conventional society, largely because it is characterized by both its membership and the activity in which that group participates such as cooperative effort, ways of doing, ways of communicating, opinions, principles, power relations, and practices emerge. ( Eckert & McConnell-Ginet, 1992 ).
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Production, Publication, and Use of Educational Multimedia Content in Brazil: Challenges and Opportunities in Real World Technology Projects
KM social network that tends to be informal, or to have a low degree of formality, in a context of self-selected assignment and voluntary participation.
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The Innovation Potential of Communities of Practice in Higher Education
Wenger (2010) further defined a CoP as a learning partnership with four characteristics: 1) domain of interest , 2) community , 3) practice , and 4) convening .
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Health Information Technology/BioDefense Needs to Fight Bio-Terrorism
A group of people who share a passion for something that they do and who interact regularly to learn how to do it better.
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Technology Leverages a Community University Collaboration
Group of people sharing a mission, may be initiated by volunteers or by an organization.
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Teacher Professional Development in the 21st Century: How Social Media Has Revolutionized the Practice
It refers to the group of people who share the same interest and continuously help and support each other to improve their practice.
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Use of Technology-Enabled Informal Learning in a Learning Organization
“Groups of people who share a concern, a set of problems, or a passion about a topic, and who deepen their knowledge and expertise in this area by interacting on an ongoing basis” ( Wenger, 1998 , p. 4).
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Design and Implementation of Trust Enabling Functions
Groups of people that emerge of their own accord with the purpose of sharing knowledge and learning from each other
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