Communities of Practice: Building an Understanding


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This slideshow presentation discusses the definition of communities of practice citing real world examples. This was created for a graduate course in information instruction for informational professionals at San Jose State University's School of Library and Information Science.

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  • The terms Situated Learning and Communities of Practice may be new, but odd are, you have witnessed or participated in collective learning throughout your lives! Through Jean Lave and Etienne Wenger's observations of apprenticeship, this theory of learning through practice and experience, mimicking the teacher, arose. Using our infograph depicted here, we will break down some CoPs that you may be familiar with, and further define a community of practice to give you a better understanding of what we are discussing.
  • is a community of designers, educators, students, organizations and folks from the general public who come together to make sense of current issues through data and design. The members of this community of practice work to share knowledge of their data, facilitate a discussion and attempt to make sense of it all. By sharing and creating, they define what it is to be a community of practice through the ongoing goal of complex understanding of issues through design. Visualizing hosts various competitions and design marathons throughout the year to bring people, who have only interacted virtually, together. They share ideas and work on visual actualizing complex issues that affect the environment, education, agriculture, and the world.
  • Perhaps you are familiar with open office, linux, or mozilla? These were all created within the OSI community of practice. Although governed by a board, the OSI was founded by members of the computer science and programming community to provide free, redistributable applications to the public. They encourage their users, novices and experts alike, to use their products and make them better. The most fundamental principle of the OSI is what they call the “open source standard.” This standard ensures that any program or application created, adhere's to the philosophy and purpose of their organizations. Some of the guiding principles within this standard include free redistribution, no discrimination against any persons or group, maintaining the integrity of the authors work, and the license must be technology neutral. Members of this CoP work together to not only create source code for redistribution, but to advocate for free, collaborative, integrity driven programs and applications.
  • Communities of Practice: Building an Understanding

    1. 1. Communities of Practice: Building an Understanding <ul><li>Jean Lave </li></ul><ul><li>Etienne Wenger </li></ul>
    2. 2. Understanding Communities of Practice (CoP)
    3. 3. <ul><li>Who are they? </li><ul><li>A community of creative people making sense of complex issues through data and design. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Their mission: </li><ul><li>To make data visualization more accessible to the general public
    4. 4. To promote information literacy through the creation, sharing and discussion of visualizations </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. Open Source Initiative (OSI) <ul><li>Who are they and what is their mission? </li><ul><li>OSI are computer programmers, computer scientists, software engineers and other advocates of the open source philosophy working together, with a global scope, to educate about and advocate for open source and to build bridges among different constituencies in the open source community. </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. CoPs: Bringing Communities Together in the University System
    7. 7. SFSU's Healthy Equity Institute <ul><li>Community Science Dialog </li><ul><li>Bring together researchers with policy makers, local government, community organization staff and other community stakeholders to discuss cutting edge issues at the nexus of science and practice.
    8. 8. In order to contribute to improving the health and well-being of communities through the exchange of ideas, debate and analysis.
    9. 9. Their goal is to create a trustful relationship with the communities they serve by including the various populations with current information about legislation, research, and policy. </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. SFSU's DoIT <ul><li>SFSU’s Department of Information Technology strives to provide quality and efficient technical services, assistance, and solutions to both university faculty and students.
    11. 11. DoIT provides and manages faculty and staff email, the tools to build webpages, web hosting, document sharing tools, and communication directories.
    12. 12. DoIT’s goal is to support the university mission by developing and promoting tools “to support communication, collaboration, information sharing, and project management”. </li></ul>
    13. 13. Communities of Practice <ul><li>In conclusion, CoPs are comprise of individuals with: </li><ul><li>Common Interests
    14. 14. Common Passions or Concerns
    15. 15. Are exposed to a common set of problems
    16. 16. In a common pursuit of solutions </li></ul></ul>
    17. 17. References <ul><li>Community Science Dialog
    18. 18. HEALTHY EQUITY INSTITUTE for Research Practice and Policy- San Francisco State University
    19. 19. Open Source Initiative
    20. 20. SFSU – Department of Information Technology (DoIT)
    21. 21. </li></ul>
    22. 22. Image Sources <ul><li>Communities of practice infograph retrieved from:
    23. 23.
    24. 24. Etienne Wenger photo retrieved from: </li></ul> <ul><li>Jean Lave photo retrieved from: </li></ul> <ul><li>Open Source Initiative Logo and Affiliates retrieved from:
    25. 25.
    26. 26. Paper chain image retrieved from:
    27. 27.
    28. 28. San Francisco State University Logo retrieved from:
    29. 29. home page retrieved from: </li></ul>