Developing Communities of Practice in SME s  of Tourism Sector Renée Filius Ivlos, University of Utrecht
Introduction <ul><li>I never teach my pupils; I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn. </li></ul>...
What do you want to know more about? What’s a virtual CoP? Aims & motives of WLT project What can we use a CoP for? (Funct...
Program <ul><li>Project: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Informal learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SME’s </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><...
Why tourism sector/ SME? <ul><li>Especially hard to get good support at reasonable profits </li></ul><ul><li>Research show...
Motives <ul><li>Less possibilities for formal learning so create possibilities for informal learning </li></ul><ul><li>Bri...
Aim of the project <ul><li>To setup and sustain virtual Communities of Practice (CoP’s) </li></ul><ul><li>of SMEs in the t...
What’s a virtual CoP? <ul><li>Group whose members regulary engage in sharing and learning, based on common interest </li><...
A CoP in tourism sector can be used by, for example: <ul><li>Communication </li></ul><ul><li>Database </li></ul><ul><li>Qu...
Results <ul><li>Insight into </li></ul><ul><li>Innovative developments </li></ul><ul><li>Learning needs </li></ul>16 regio...
Organisation <ul><li>2-years project: Oct 2005 - Oct 2007 </li></ul><ul><li>Funded by the European Union (Leonardo da Vinc...
Example: CoP of this project
Example: CoP of CoPs
CoP’s are themes based <ul><li>Thematically focused: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rural tourism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wellne...
Every CoP will be supported <ul><li>A moderator facilitates the process.  </li></ul><ul><li>Experts can be invited to part...
Project Partners <ul><li>IVLOS Universiteit Utrecht, Netherlands  </li></ul><ul><li>InfoWERK Schwaz, Austria  </li></ul><u...
Current Status <ul><li>8 out of 16 CoP’s are being created, 8 more to go  </li></ul><ul><li>3 types of community emerging ...
Challenges <ul><li>Can you ‘create’ a Community of Practice? </li></ul><ul><li>How do you stimulate communication? </li></...
How to participate? <ul><li>Participation is free, although we expect you to spend time in participation. Furthermore you ...
Final remarks <ul><li>At first the community will  irregulary  communicate and perhaps share information. It takes time be...
Back to the introduction <ul><li>I never teach my pupils; I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn...
Questions to you? <ul><li>Do you think a CoP could be a good tool of sharing knowledge and learning from each other? </li>...
Questions?
More information: www.worklearntogether.org
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Online Educa Wlt Presentation

  1. 1. Developing Communities of Practice in SME s of Tourism Sector Renée Filius Ivlos, University of Utrecht
  2. 2. Introduction <ul><li>I never teach my pupils; I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn. </li></ul><ul><li>Albert Einstein </li></ul>
  3. 3. What do you want to know more about? What’s a virtual CoP? Aims & motives of WLT project What can we use a CoP for? (Functions) Examples of CoP’s Results of WLT project Why focus on tourism sector & SME? Major challenges Benefits to learners, educators and other organisations How to make a succesfull CoP? Fundamental issues in the development of appropriate learning contexts and environments for SMEs Appropriate models and ICT-tools for informal learning
  4. 4. Program <ul><li>Project: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Informal learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SME’s </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tourism sector </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>International </li></ul></ul><ul><li>We use Communities of Practice </li></ul><ul><li>You can join us! </li></ul>
  5. 5. Why tourism sector/ SME? <ul><li>Especially hard to get good support at reasonable profits </li></ul><ul><li>Research shows: SMEs do problemsolving by talking, but hard to find the right people and no training available </li></ul><ul><li>Particularly important with new challenges (e.g. the effect of low cost Internet based airlines on small travel agents). </li></ul>
  6. 6. Motives <ul><li>Less possibilities for formal learning so create possibilities for informal learning </li></ul><ul><li>Bring people together to work together in different ways to find solutions to their problems and in the process learn new ideas. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Aim of the project <ul><li>To setup and sustain virtual Communities of Practice (CoP’s) </li></ul><ul><li>of SMEs in the tourist sector </li></ul><ul><li>in order to facilitate and support lifelong learning of professionals in the workplace </li></ul>
  8. 8. What’s a virtual CoP? <ul><li>Group whose members regulary engage in sharing and learning, based on common interest </li></ul><ul><li>Informal learning, often self organised and self selected </li></ul><ul><li>Online working group </li></ul><ul><li>Through working and learning together, they generate knowledge and constantly reinforce and renew themselves </li></ul>
  9. 9. A CoP in tourism sector can be used by, for example: <ul><li>Communication </li></ul><ul><li>Database </li></ul><ul><li>Question Bank (FAQ) </li></ul><ul><li>Sharing favorite links and documents </li></ul><ul><li>Creating new knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Calender for events </li></ul><ul><li>Bringing problems and solutions together </li></ul>
  10. 10. Results <ul><li>Insight into </li></ul><ul><li>Innovative developments </li></ul><ul><li>Learning needs </li></ul>16 regional CoP’s 5 international CoP’s Webportal <ul><li>Guidelines for: </li></ul><ul><li>Implementing COP’s </li></ul><ul><li>Relating CoP’s to vocational training </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge dissemination : </li></ul><ul><li>5 seminars (sector organisations) </li></ul><ul><li>Paper and journal articles </li></ul>Tools & models to support COP’s System for monitoring & evaluating CoP’s
  11. 11. Organisation <ul><li>2-years project: Oct 2005 - Oct 2007 </li></ul><ul><li>Funded by the European Union (Leonardo da Vinci program). </li></ul>
  12. 12. Example: CoP of this project
  13. 13. Example: CoP of CoPs
  14. 14. CoP’s are themes based <ul><li>Thematically focused: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rural tourism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wellness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hotel/ restaurant issues, e.g. starters </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Chosen by the members themselves </li></ul><ul><li>Not competitive, but work-related, rooted in daily-work processes </li></ul><ul><li>E.g.: Seasonal fluctuations, quality, collaboration, customers, e-business, environment, tourism developments.. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Every CoP will be supported <ul><li>A moderator facilitates the process. </li></ul><ul><li>Experts can be invited to participate. </li></ul><ul><li>Researchers will monitor and evaluate the process. </li></ul><ul><li>In the end the group will belong to and be run by its participants, with the project team in a supporting role. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Project Partners <ul><li>IVLOS Universiteit Utrecht, Netherlands </li></ul><ul><li>InfoWERK Schwaz, Austria </li></ul><ul><li>IFS Innsbruck, Austria </li></ul><ul><li>EBS Tallinn, Estonia </li></ul><ul><li>Florida Centre Valencia, Spain </li></ul><ul><li>CF&L Bologna, Italy </li></ul><ul><li>Training 2000 Mondavio, Italy </li></ul><ul><li>HBI Zoetermeer, Netherlands </li></ul><ul><li>Maramures Baia Mare, Romania </li></ul><ul><li>Rolnet Bucharest, Romania </li></ul><ul><li>NTA Ljubljana, Slovenia </li></ul><ul><li>Pontydysgu Pontypridd, UK (evaluator) </li></ul>
  17. 17. Current Status <ul><li>8 out of 16 CoP’s are being created, 8 more to go </li></ul><ul><li>3 types of community emerging in design process </li></ul><ul><li>Existing but dominant group (travel agents) </li></ul><ul><li>Existing potential group (rural tourism accommodation) </li></ul><ul><li>Potential group: still to be created (small hotels) </li></ul>
  18. 18. Challenges <ul><li>Can you ‘create’ a Community of Practice? </li></ul><ul><li>How do you stimulate communication? </li></ul><ul><li>Are people willing to share their knowledge? Both national and international? </li></ul><ul><li>How do you increase the likelihood of creating knowledge? </li></ul>
  19. 19. How to participate? <ul><li>Participation is free, although we expect you to spend time in participation. Furthermore you need to have a computer with Internet access to join our networks. Please send an e-mail if you are interested in participation: r.m.filius@ivlos.uu.nl </li></ul><ul><li>We will invite you to fill in a brief online questionnaire to investigate what your needs are, related to our networks. We will also inform you about the progress. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Final remarks <ul><li>At first the community will irregulary communicate and perhaps share information. It takes time before it starts sharing and creating knowledge! </li></ul><ul><li>Be patient, the value of the community increases as the users are more inclined to see the community as a useful source and a place to communicate and collaborate. </li></ul><ul><li>You can lead the horse to the water, but you can’t make him drink. </li></ul>
  21. 21. Back to the introduction <ul><li>I never teach my pupils; I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn. </li></ul><ul><li>Albert Einstein </li></ul>
  22. 22. Questions to you? <ul><li>Do you think a CoP could be a good tool of sharing knowledge and learning from each other? </li></ul><ul><li>Do you think a CoP is an effective tool within the tourism sector? </li></ul><ul><li>Do you have any suggestions for this projectteam? </li></ul>
  23. 23. Questions?
  24. 24. More information: www.worklearntogether.org

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