Communities of Practice: Creating Learning Environments for Educators

Editors, Chris Kimble, Paul Hildreth and Isabelle Bourdon
Publisher, Information Age Publishing

As a two volume set:
Hard cover ISBN: 1593118678 , Soft cover ISBN: 159311866X

As separate volumes:
Hard Cover - Vol 1 ISBN: 1593118635 , Vol 2 ISBN: 1593118651
Soft Cover - Vol 1 ISBN: 1593118627 , Vol 2 ISBN: 1593118643

Volume 2, Chapter 18 - Online CoPs - towards the next generation


This chapter is set in the context of the online Communities of Practice (CoPs) developed by the Ultralab facilitation team for the National College of School Leaderships (NCSL) in England. Firstly, the background and philosophy are briefly explored along with elements of facilitation that enable CoPs to thrive. Next, the impact participation had on practice, from the individual to the systemic, is described along with Fullan's (2005) assertion that sustainable capacity building requires a tri-level solution. It is then suggested that members of CoPs are becoming increasingly e-mature and that embedding key performance indicators into online practice for feedback and self-evaluation can empower members to effectively co-facilitate their communities as well as generate a range of outputs including system indicators, policy measures and rapid feedback. Finally, some features of current web-based technologies are described along with ways these might be integrated into a holistic framework. The aim is to stimulate a discussion of strategies and tools that might help the next generation of CoPs to realise more fully their potential.


Leonie Ramondt