OER AFRICA                                        Defining Communities of Practice                                        ...
An article in FORTUNE Magazine (1996) referred to communities of practice as “Groups that learn,    communities of practic...
HISTORY OF “COMMUNITIES OF PRACTICE”     Communities of Practice as a concept has been around for many years but the term ...
with location and identity. For them participation provides the key to understanding communities of     practice.         ...
remain peripheral. They point out in this study that it is important to gain a more balanced     understanding of the stre...
CHARACTERISTICS OF A COMMUNITY OF PRACTICE     The words “community of practice”, “online community” and “virtual communit...
implies a commitment to the domain, and therefore a shared competence that distinguishes members     from other people. (Y...
This process creates more than just a stated goal, but creates among participants relations of               mutual accoun...
Most of the studies regarding the way people engage in communities of practice with each other has     been focused primar...
The definition below represents a first attempt at defining OER Africa as a space that embodies theprinciples of communiti...
BIBLIOGRAPHYBauer, R. Customer-inspired Innovation: Creating the Future. ideascope. Retrieved June 18, 2008, fromhttp://ww...
Sharp, J. (1997, March 12). Communities of Practice: A Review of Literature. . Retrieved May 21, 2008,from http://www.tfri...
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Defining Communities of Practice

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This document represents a first attempt at collating the information available on the Internet to understand the term 'communities of practice'. It is not comprehensive, but can help to understand the key features of communities of practice to inform the development of the OER platform.

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Defining Communities of Practice

  1. 1. OER AFRICA Defining Communities of Practice FIRST DRAFT 23-06-2008 This document represents a first attempt at collating the information available on the Internet to understand the term “communities of practice”. It is in no way intended to provide a comprehensive review of communities of practice, but is an attempt to provide an overview of communities of practice in an attempt to understand the key features of these in helping to inform the development of the OER Africa platform. This document is also incomplete, as it forms the first part of a research process focused on OER Africa and the implementation or potential use of communities of practice in this context. This document will evolve as more research is gathered and integrated. INTRODUCTION Numerous studies have found that people form relationships through informal networks based on their common backgrounds, or location. A community of practice is a special type of informal network, usually formed through the common interests of a group of people. A lot of research points to these types of groups being formed inside large organizations. They are generally made up of small groups of people who’ve worked together over a period of time and who through informal discussion develop a common sense of purpose and a need to share their work-related stories and experiences. The following definitions have been gathered from various sources. Each represents an attempt to define communities of practice. Etienne Wenger (1991) defines communities of practice as “groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly”.1 Johnson-Lenz, from Awakening Technology defines a community of practice as "a group of professionals, informally bound to one another through exposure to a common class of problems, common pursuit of solutions, and thereby themselves embodying a store of knowledge."2 The CoVis project refers to communities of practice as “groups of people who share similar goals and interests. In pursuit of these goals and interests, they employ common practices, work with the same tools and express themselves in a common language. Through such common activity, they come to hold similar beliefs and value systems”.31 Wenger, E. Communities of practice. Communities of practice: A brief introduction. Retrieved May 21, 2008, from http://www.ewenger.com/theory/2 Johnson-Lenz, P. &. T. Community of Inquiry and Practice. Awakening Technology. Retrieved June 18, 2008, from http://www.awakentech.com/at/Awaken.nsf/d4cbbb795713bdee882564640074729d/4b21a4c71b4bf809882564a8007baa21!OpenDocument
  2. 2. An article in FORTUNE Magazine (1996) referred to communities of practice as “Groups that learn, communities of practice, have special characteristics. They emerge of their own accord: Three, four, 20, maybe 30 people find themselves drawn to one another by a force thats both social and professional. They collaborate directly, use one another as sounding boards, teach each other. Communities of practice are the shop floor of human capital, the place where the stuff gets made.4 R Bauer from Ideascommunity of practicee sees a community of practice as "a diverse group of people engaged in real work over a significant period of time during which they build things, solve problems, learn and invent...in short, they evolve a practice that is highly skilled and highly creative."5 Brown and Duguid (1998) described photocopier engineers who work together and are able to communicate non-verbally because of “shared experience, shared learning and shared understandings”. 6 Sharp (1997) describes a community of practice as a “special type of informal network that emerges from a desire to work more effectively or to understand work more deeply among members of a particular speciality or group”.7 It is clear from these descriptions that when defining communities of practice the recurring terms and emphasis is on mainly two aspects, the informal nature of the relationships and on the sharing of knowledge or experience. These communities could be engineers who design brakes, artists who congregate in a café to talk about artistic genres and styles, nurses who gather at lunch and talk about their experiences. They are typically groups who discuss insights, share information and solve problems. In some instance they may even develop tools and frameworks that become part of the common knowledge of the community, hence building up a shared body of knowledge and a sense of identity. Much of the literature on communities of practice highlights the many positive aspects of communities of practice. However, Wenger (2000) warns that they should not be over romanticized: “They are born from learning, but they can also learn not to learn. They are cradles of the human spirit, but they can also be in cages. After all, witch-hunts were also community practices.”83 Communities of Practice. .CoVis: learning Through Collaboration. Retrieved June 18, 2008, from http://www.covis.northwestern.edu/info/philosophy/communities-of-practice.html4 Stewart, T. A. The invisible key to success shadowy groups called communities of practice are where learning and growth happen. You can’t control them – but they’re easy to kill. August 5, 1996. FORTUNE. Retrieved June 18, 2008, from http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/1996/08/05/215440/index.htm5 Bauer, R. Customer-inspired Innovation: Creating the Future. ideascope. Retrieved June 18, 2008, from http://www.ideascope.com/info/resources.aspx6 Brown, J. S., & Duguid, P. Organizational learning and communities of practice. . Retrieved June 20, 2008, from http://www2.parc.com/ops/members/brown/papers/orglearning.html7 Sharp, J. (1997, March 12). Communities of Practice: A Review of Literature. . Retrieved May 21, 2008, from http://www.tfriend.com/cop- lit.htm8 Wenger, E. Communities of practice. Communities of practice: A brief introduction. Retrieved May 21, 2008, from http://www.ewenger.com/theory/
  3. 3. HISTORY OF “COMMUNITIES OF PRACTICE” Communities of Practice as a concept has been around for many years but the term itself was not introduced until 1991 when Jean Lave9 and Etienne Wenger10 used it to explore the idea of Situated Learning11. They explored the activities of groups of non-drinking alcoholics, quartermasters, butchers, tailors in Goa and midwives in the Yucatan. The learning that takes place through working practices is what linked these groups, for example, an apprenticeship where an employee learns skills "on the job".12 This model proposed that learning involved a process of engagement in a “community of practice”.13Through their research Lave and Wenger noted that: People usually think of apprenticeship as a relationship between a student and a master, but studies of apprenticeship reveal a more complex set of social relationships through which learning takes place…the term community of practice was coined to refer to the community that acts as a living curriculum for the apprentice. Once the concept was articulated we started to see these communities everywhere, even when no formal apprenticeship system existed…the practice of a community is dynamic and involves learning on the part of everyone.”14 Lave and Wenger regarded a community of practice as “an intrinsic condition for existence of knowledge”. They saw the acquisition of knowledge as a social process where people participate in communal learning at different levels depending on their level of authority or seniority in the group. Newcomers learn from old-timers by being allowed to participate in certain tasks that relate to the practice of that community. Over time the newcomer moves from peripheral to full participation. In other words, learning does not take place as narrow situated learning but as Legitimate Peripheral Participation.15 This concept is very complex. Lave and Wenger (1991) explain that the three elements legitimation, peripherality and participation cannot be considered in isolation. Legitimation and participation define the characteristic ways of belonging to a community, and peripherality and participation are concerned9 Jean Lave (PhD., Social Anthropology, Harvard University, 1968 [1]) is a social anthropologist and social learning theorist. She is currently a Professor of Education and Geography at the University of California, Berkeley. Her studies of apprenticeships are recognized as significant contributions to educational psychology.10 Etienne Wenger (1952-) is an educational theorist and practitioner, best known for his formulation (with Jean Lave) of the theory of situated cognition and his more recent work in the field of communities of practice. Wenger holds that learning is an inherently social process and that it cannot be separated from the social context in which it happens.11 Lave, J., & Wenger, E. Communities of Practice. . Retrieved June 17, 2008, from http://www.infed.org/biblio/communities_of_practice.htm12 Hildreth, P., & Kimble, C. Knowledge Networks: Innovation through Communities of Practice. . Retrieved June 20, 2008, from http://www.chris- kimble.com/KNICOP/Chapters/Introduction.html13 Lave, J., & Wenger, E. Communities of Practice. . Retrieved June 17, 2008, from http://www.infed.org/biblio/communities_of_practice.htm14 Wenger, E. Communities of practice. Communities of practice: A brief introduction. Retrieved May 21, 2008, from http://www.ewenger.com/theory/15 Kimble, C., Hildreth, P., & Wright, P. (2001). Communities of Practice: Going Virtual. . Idea Publishing Group. Retrieved June 23, 2008, from http://www.cs.york.ac.uk/mis/docs/kmbmichapter.pdf
  4. 4. with location and identity. For them participation provides the key to understanding communities of practice. “A community of practice does not necessarily imply co-location, socially visible boundaries or a well-defined or identifiable group. It does however imply participation in an activity where participants have a common understanding about what it is and what it means to their lives”.16 Interest in communities of practice grew throughout the 1990’s. Several attempts were made to re- define communities of practice in a way that was suited to the commercial environment. One of the most widely cited, business related definitions was offered by John Seely Brown and Estee Solomon Gray in their 1995 article called “The People are the Company”: At the simplest level, they are a small group of people…who’ve worked together over a period of time. Not a team, not a task force, not necessarily an authorized or identified group…they are peers in the execution of “real work”. What holds them together is a common sense of purpose and a real need to know what each other knows.17 In 1998 Wenger again began to explore communities of practice in business. The results of an ethnographic study of a claims processing unit in an insurance company showed that communities of practice were formed through “mutual engagement in a joint enterprise and that these communities of practice exploited a repertoire of common resources.” He claimed that the communities of practice he studied arose out of a need to accomplish particular tasks in the organization, hence providing learning avenues for the people involved. His view of a business is one that is made up of a number of interrelated communities of practice that can spread beyond the borders of a company.18 In their research “Communities of Practice: Going one step too far?” Chris Kimble and Paul Hildreth consider whether communities of practice are really applicable to a business environment. They argue that most organizations view groups as project teams or task groups who are brought together and controlled by the larger organization. Communities of practice on the other hand are “self-directed and self-motivated entities; the engine that drives a community of practice is the shared interest of its members, which may not be the same things as the interest of the wider organization.”19 In conclusion they note that it is these characteristics of a community of practice that makes their contribution to an organization uncertain and that the role that community of practices can play in business should always16 Kimble, C., Hildreth, P., & Wright, P. (2001). Communities of Practice: Going Virtual. . Idea Publishing Group. Retrieved June 23, 2008, from http://www.cs.york.ac.uk/mis/docs/kmbmichapter.pdf17 Kimble, C., & Hildreth, P. Communities of Practice: Going One Step Too Far? . . Retrieved June 23, 2008, from http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=634642#PaperDownload18 Kimble, C., Hildreth, P., & Wright, P. (2001). Communities of Practice: Going Virtual. . Idea Publishing Group. Retrieved June 23, 2008, from http://www.cs.york.ac.uk/mis/docs/kmbmichapter.pdf19 Kimble, C., & Hildreth, P. Communities of Practice: Going One Step Too Far? . . Retrieved June 23, 2008, from http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=634642#PaperDownload
  5. 5. remain peripheral. They point out in this study that it is important to gain a more balanced understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of community of practices as a solution to business problems.20 Kimble and Hildreth also studied communities of practice in the context of knowledge management. They use the terms hard and soft knowledge and argue that too often knowledge management emphasizes hard knowledge over soft. Hard knowledge, they say, is something that can be clearly and fully expressed, it can be formalized, structured and ‘owned’ without being used. In contrast soft knowledge is implicit and unstructured. “t is the sort of knowledge that cannot be easily articulated. It is about what we do and can only be acquired through experience”.21They also argued that the two cannot exist without each other and that knowledge is a “duality” consisting simultaneously of both hard and soft knowledge. Viewing knowledge in this way allowed them to make a link between knowledge management and communities of practice. A lot of research has attempted to explore this complex relationship. Wenger (1998) identified two key processes that formed a duality: participation and reification. He described participation as: “the social experience of living in the world in terms of membership in social communities and active involvement in social enterprises.”22 And reification as: “…the process of giving form to our experience by producing objects that congeal this experience into thingness.”23 These concepts were seen as a way to manage knowledge. In their day-to-day activities people can participate in shared activities and project that participation to the external world by producing artefacts. Several other authors have taken this idea and sought to identify specific quantifiable business benefits that can be associated with community of practices. But according to Hildreth and Kimble one problem still remains – almost all the previous work around community of practices was based on co-located community of practices. With the increasing globalization of business and the heavy reliance on ICT’s the question of whether Community of practices can become “virtual” opens up a whole new complex set of questions and issues. This is explored briefly later on in this document.20 Kimble, C., & Hildreth, P. Communities of Practice: Going One Step Too Far? . . Retrieved June 23, 2008, from http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=634642#PaperDownload21 Kimble, C., & Hildreth, P. Communities of Practice: Going One Step Too Far? . . Retrieved June 23, 2008, from http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=634642#PaperDownload22 Kimble, C., & Hildreth, P. Communities of Practice: Going One Step Too Far? . . Retrieved June 23, 2008, from http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=634642#PaperDownload23 Kimble, C., & Hildreth, P. Communities of Practice: Going One Step Too Far? . . Retrieved June 23, 2008, from http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=634642#PaperDownload
  6. 6. CHARACTERISTICS OF A COMMUNITY OF PRACTICE The words “community of practice”, “online community” and “virtual community” have been interpreted in many different ways. Every group that shares interest on a website is referred to as a community, but communities of practice is in fact a specific kind of community. Communities of practice are generally focused on an area of knowledge and over time accumulate expertise in this area. They develop a shared practice by interacting around problems and solutions, and build a common store of knowledge. In searching the Internet there are dozens and dozens of discussions on the definition and existence of “communities of practice”. The basic argument made by Lave and Wenger in 1991 is that communities of practice are everywhere and we are generally involved in a number of them – whether that is at work, school, home, or in our civic and leisure interests. Lave and Wenger originally described a Community of Practice as "... a set of relations among persons, activity and world, over time and in relation with other tangential and overlapping communities of practice".24 Being alive as human beings means that we are constantly engaged in the pursuit of enterprises of all kinds, from ensuring our physical survival to seeking the most lofty pleasures. As we define these enterprises and engage in their pursuit together, we interact with each other and with the world and we tune our relations with each other and with the world accordingly. In other words we learn. Over time, this collective learning results in practices that reflect both the pursuit of our enterprises and the attendant social relations. These practices are thus the property of a kind of community created over time by the sustained pursuit of a shared enterprise. It makes sense, therefore to call these kinds of communities communities of practice. (Wenger 1998: 45)25 The purpose of this document is not to single out a definition of communities of practice, but to take note of some of the characteristics that might be found in a community of practice in helping to formulate a working definition for OER Africa in forging “communities of practice”. Wenger (1998) highlights three characteristics of a community of practice. 26 “The domain: A community of practice is not merely a club of friends or a network of connections between people. It has an identity defined by a shared domain of interest. Membership therefore24 Communities of Practice: a social aspect to virtual worlds? . Retrieved May 22, 2008, from http://www- users.cs.york.ac.uk/~kimble/teaching/mis/Communities_of_Practice.html25 Lave, J., & Wenger, E. Communities of Practice. . Retrieved June 17, 2008, from http://www.infed.org/biblio/communities_of_practice.htm26 Wegner, E. Communities of practice. Communities of practice: A brief introduction. Retrieved May 21, 2008, from http://www.ewenger.com/theory/
  7. 7. implies a commitment to the domain, and therefore a shared competence that distinguishes members from other people. (You could belong to the same network as someone and never know it.) The domain is not necessarily something recognized as "expertise" outside the community. A youth gang may have developed all sorts of ways of dealing with their domain: surviving on the street and maintaining some kind of identity they can live with. They value their collective competence and learn from each other, even though few people outside the group may value or even recognize their expertise.” “The community: In pursuing their interest in their domain, members engage in joint activities and discussions, help each other, and share information. They build relationships that enable them to learn from each other. A website in itself is not a community of practice. Having the same job or the same title does not make for a community of practice unless members interact and learn together. The claims processors in a large insurance company or students in high schools may have much in common, yet unless they interact and learn together, they do not form a community of practice. But members of a community of practice do not necessarily work together on a daily basis. The Impressionists, for instance, used to meet in cafes and studios to discuss the style of painting they were inventing together. These interactions were essential to making them a community of practice even though they often painted alone.” “The practice: A community of practice is not merely a community of interest--people who like certain kinds of movies, for instance. Members of a community of practice are practitioners. They develop a shared repertoire of resources: experiences, stories, tools, ways of addressing recurring problems—in short a shared practice. This takes time and sustained interaction. A good conversation with a stranger on an airplane may give you all sorts of interesting insights, but it does not in itself make for a community of practice. The development of a shared practice may be more or less self-conscious. The "windshield wipers" engineers at an auto manufacturer make a concerted effort to collect and document the tricks and lessons they have learned into a knowledge base. By contrast, nurses who meet regularly for lunch in a hospital cafeteria may not realize that their lunch discussions are one of their main sources of knowledge about how to care for patients. Still, in the course of all these conversations, they have developed a set of stories and cases that have become a shared repertoire for their practice.” Iverson and McPhee (2000) discussed this in more detail:27 1. Mutual Engagement comes from the interaction of members. By interrelating, members are motivated to negotiate their practices and the meanings of their actions. Mutual engagement identifies a condition similar to connection in a network but describes such relation as grounded in common interest and activity, rather than mere interaction. 2. Negotiation of a joint enterprise gives a sense coherence and purpose to the community of practice. Members interact to define significance, shape practices, and react to a larger context.27 Erasmus, R. The impact of communities of practice - on inter-firm alliance research terms. . Retrieved June 20, 2008, from http://etd.unisa.ac.za%2FETD-db%2Ftheses%2Favailable%2Fetd-05312006-085451%2Funrestricted %2Fthesis.pdf&ei=PLJbSNSLCYOqigHP4umXDA&usg=AFQjCNF4uP_WdJkHw2B-xuZbkZoZ9-4puw&sig2=wL0oFHCcrS3mF33EerDIPw
  8. 8. This process creates more than just a stated goal, but creates among participants relations of mutual accountability that become an integral part of the practice. 3. A shared repertoire is the community of practices set of resources for negotiating meaning. Stories, jargon, theories, forms and other resources form a stock of understood information and techniques that can be utilized by members. Rosabeth Moss Kanter (2001) identified seven elements which are contained in the community ideal. These show similarities to the characteristics identified by Wenger. 28 1. Membership: When there are members, differences disappear, and connections transcend roles. People feel an obligation to fellow members that they may not feel to fellow workers. 2. Fluid boundaries: Communities are loose aggregations. There may be a formal core that is organized and firm, but around that core are people who come and go, move in and out, and become more active on some occasions, less active on others. 3. Voluntary action: There is a voluntary quality to the actions taken by the community members. They do more than in their jobs, because they want to. 4. Identity: Community is an idea, not a geographical location. A community exists because many people think it does and define themselves as part of it. 5. Common culture: Shared understandings, a common language and disciplines, permit a relatively seamless interchangeability of one for another. 6. Collective strength: Communities tap the power of many. 7. Collective responsibility: Service to the community as a community can be a unifying force in addition to its pragmatic benefits as a workforce motivator. VIRTUAL COMMUNITIES OF PRACTICE It is not the purpose of this document to explore in detail the concept of virtual communities of practice. It is however noted that this will in fact become a key area of research with regards to OER Africa. This will be explored further as the research process evolves. “A virtual community of practice is a network of individuals who share a domain of interest about which they communicate online”.2928 Erasmus, R. The impact of communities of practice - on inter-firm alliance research terms. . Retrieved June 20, 2008, from http://etd.unisa.ac.za%2FETD-db%2Ftheses%2Favailable%2Fetd-05312006-085451%2Funrestricted %2Fthesis.pdf&ei=PLJbSNSLCYOqigHP4umXDA&usg=AFQjCNF4uP_WdJkHw2B-xuZbkZoZ9-4puw&sig2=wL0oFHCcrS3mF33EerDIPw29 Gannon-Leary, P., & Fontainha, E. Communities of practice and virtual learning communities: benefits, barriers and success factors. . Retrieved June 23, 2008, from http://www.elearningeuropa.info/files/media/media13563.pdf
  9. 9. Most of the studies regarding the way people engage in communities of practice with each other has been focused primarily on face-to-face communication, but there is nothing in the definitions of communities of practice that rules out communication media such as e-mail, discussion groups, or chat rooms as support mechanisms for participating in communities of practice. The original concept of a community of practice was based on situated learning in a co-located setting. However, with the continued growth of the Internet some researchers are claiming that virtual communities of practice do exist. Some people have even claimed that a wiki (such as wikipedia.org) is a virtual community of practice.30 Debate around the term “communities of practice” has also been sparked. The community may be real but the form of communication is mostly, if not entirely, via computers through e-mail and other methods of communication. Few researchers believe that a community of practice can be formed without face to face meetings. In fact many leading thinkers stress the importance of this face-to-face contact and communication. Some researchers argue that a virtual community of practice, in its use of ICT, changes the essential nature and character of a community of practice.31 Recent research has produced evidence that virtual communities of practice increase the sharing of tacit knowledge, which is very much in line with communities of practice theory. This is what is sometimes referred to as “Community-driven knowledge management” or “Community Based Knowledge Management”, where communities of practice and virtual communities of practice theory is harnessed, nourished and supported within a broader framework.32 In the scope of this document the concept of virtual communities of practice will not be explored in any detail. It is sufficient to note that there has been controversy surrounding this concept. In the context of OER Africa this will need to be researched in detail to understand fully how OER Africa can support communities of practice that are mainly if not completely virtual. A series of case studies will be explored later and pilot OER Africa communities investigated to formulate a OER Africa standpoint. OER AFRICA AND COMMUNITIES OF PRACTICE During this stage of research we are only starting to understand communities of practice. In the context of OER Africa we are in fact a long way off from defining the platform as a space where “communities of practice” can engage in and share knowledge and expertise in developing collaboratively course and other materials relevant to higher education institutions in Africa.30 Virtual community of practice - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. . Retrieved June 22, 2008, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_Community_of_Practice31 Virtual community of practice - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. . Retrieved June 22, 2008, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_Community_of_Practice32 Virtual community of practice - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. . Retrieved June 22, 2008, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_Community_of_Practice
  10. 10. The definition below represents a first attempt at defining OER Africa as a space that embodies theprinciples of communities of practice and allows for communities of practice to be established: OER Africa provides a platform for sharing expertise, developing ‘repositories’ of good practice information, and designing and building course materials through collective, cross-university discussion and decision making.Developing a space of this nature will not be without its challenges. Further research will involve theinvestigation of various communities of practice and virtual communities of practice in further adaptingand refining the above definition.CONCLUSIONThe concept of communities of practice is influencing theory and practice in many domains. Starting outin apprenticeship studies, it has found its way into businesses interested in knowledge management andit is progressively filtering its way into many other sectors.In collating the research and definitions of communities of practice, the following key elements standout about above all else as defining features of communities of practice: • Co-located in the lived in world • Informal groups • Self-perpetuated, self-directed and self-motivated • Share passions or common problems • Share similar goals and interests • Hold similar beliefs and value systems • Embody knowledge • Facilitate knowledge sharing • Engaged in “real work” • Share a common language • Produce artefactsIt can be noted that the knowledge created and shared by a community of practice is what differentiatesit from other communities. Communities of practice enable expertise to be shared and best practices toemerge, freely and informally.The challenge for OER Africa is to understand the concept of communities of practice which areessentially located in the lived-in world and investigate ways of transferring the concept into the virtualworld.
  11. 11. BIBLIOGRAPHYBauer, R. Customer-inspired Innovation: Creating the Future. ideascope. Retrieved June 18, 2008, fromhttp://www.ideascope.com/info/resources.aspxBrown, J. S., & Duguid, P. Organizational learning and communities of practice. . Retrieved June 20,2008, from http://www2.parc.com/ops/members/brown/papers/orglearning.htmlCommunities of Practice. .CoVis: learning Through Collaboration. Retrieved June 18, 2008, fromhttp://www.covis.northwestern.edu/info/philosophy/communities-of-practice.htmlCommunities of Practice: a social aspect to virtual worlds? . Retrieved May 22, 2008, from http://www-users.cs.york.ac.uk/~kimble/teaching/mis/Communities_of_Practice.htmlErasmus, R. The impact of communities of practice - on inter-firm alliance research terms. . RetrievedJune 20, 2008, from http://etd.unisa.ac.za%2FETD-db%2Ftheses%2Favailable%2Fetd-05312006-085451%2Funrestricted%2Fthesis.pdf&ei=PLJbSNSLCYOqigHP4umXDA&usg=AFQjCNF4uP_WdJkHw2B-xuZbkZoZ9-4puw&sig2=wL0oFHCcrS3mF33EerDIPwGannon-Leary, P., & Fontainha, E. Communities of practice and virtual learning communities: benefits,barriers and success factors. . Retrieved June 23, 2008, fromhttp://www.elearningeuropa.info/files/media/media13563.pdfHildreth, P., & Kimble, C. Knowledge Networks: Innovation through Communities of Practice. . RetrievedJune 20, 2008, from http://www.chris-kimble.com/KNICOP/Chapters/Introduction.htmlJohnson-Lenz, P. &. T. Community of Inquiry and Practice. Awakening Technology. Retrieved June 18,2008, fromhttp://www.awakentech.com/at/Awaken.nsf/d4cbbb795713bdee882564640074729d/4b21a4c71b4bf809882564a8007baa21!OpenDocumentKaplan, S. (2002, August). Building Communities--Strategies for Collaborative Learning. Learning Circuits,ASTDs Source for E-Learning. Retrieved May 22, 2008, fromhttp://www.learningcircuits.org/2002/aug2002/kaplan.htmlKimble, C., & Hildreth, P. Communities of Practice: Going One Step Too Far? . . Retrieved June 23, 2008,from http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=634642#PaperDownloadKimble, C., Hildreth, P., & Wright, P. (2001). Communities of Practice: Going Virtual. . Idea PublishingGroup. Retrieved June 23, 2008, from http://www.cs.york.ac.uk/mis/docs/kmbmichapter.pdfLave, J., & Wenger, E. Communities of Practice. . Retrieved June 17, 2008, fromhttp://www.infed.org/biblio/communities_of_practice.htm
  12. 12. Sharp, J. (1997, March 12). Communities of Practice: A Review of Literature. . Retrieved May 21, 2008,from http://www.tfriend.com/cop-lit.htmStewart, T. A. The invisible key to success shadowy groups called communities of practice are wherelearning and growth happen. You can’t control them – but they’re easy to kill. August 5, 1996. FORTUNE.Retrieved June 18, 2008, fromhttp://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/1996/08/05/215440/index.htmVirtual community of practice - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. . Retrieved June 22, 2008, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_Community_of_PracticeWenger, E. Communities of practice. Communities of practice: A brief introduction. Retrieved May 21,2008, from http://www.ewenger.com/theory/

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