Etienne and Beverly Wenger-Trayner conduct a workshop on evaluating the value of learning in communities.

1. Introduction & What is a Community of Practice (CoP)?

  • Showing the value of learning → not an easy task
  • Evaluation framework
  • Notion of CoP → something you already know
  • Goes back to ‘people in caves’ → they acted as a CoP
  • Intensity to it; not just chit chat
  • Learning often see as ‘classroom’, where teacher ‘imparts’ knowledge → does not reflect how we’ve been learning historically

4. The evaluation framework – How social learning creates value

  • Response to the difficulty in showing the value that CoPs create
  • Measuring the value of learning that happens in a CoP
  • How do you show causality?
  • 7 different types of value

2. Differences between a team or department, and CoPs – Explaining the concept of a CoP

  • Goal is developing capability, rather than specific outcome
  • Language Centre example
  • Is a department a CoP? Depends on how they interact with each other
  • It is not about size, but about learning partnerships
  • CoPs are not ‘a particular technique’
  • One of the dangers → they can become insular, in-bound focused
  • Helping each other deal with the circumstances under which we do our practice
  • Sometimes CoPs are spontaneous
  • How can they be cultivated?
  • ‘Quality assurance’ in numbers (through community)
  • Practice creates boundaries around ‘community’
  • Importance of language of a community; not necessarily verbal
  • Example of the science community’s process of peer review (very formal)
  • World Bank example → shift in thinking about learning, away from vertical view of knowledge transmission

Value Creation Framework Stories Template

3. Exploring CoPs continued

  • How would you ‘break down’ CoPs
  • Create ‘boundary encounters’ (permeable boundaries)
  • Importance of identity
  • Life of CoP evolves over time
  • Changing technology and paradigm shifts
  • Boundary work is very important and productive, but difficult
  • Is there a boundary problem that both communities would benefit from?

5. Examples of different types of value & concluding thoughts

  • You can enter the model at any stage
  • Articulating aspirations is important
  • Enabling conditions
  • Transformative value → how do you capture this?


Add comment

Fields marked by '*' are required.
Comments are moderated. If you choose to make this comment public, it will not be visible to others until it is approved by the owner.

Reply to:

Private: This reply will only be visible to you and the author of the preceeding comment.