Teaching and Learning about Communities of Practice in Higher Education
P. Cremers, and R. Valkenburg. Communities of Practice: Creating Learning Environments for Educators, 1, chapter 17, Information Age Publishing, Charlotte, NC, (2008)
Communities of practice (CoPs) are presented in literature as an efficient tool for creating and sharing knowledge among professionals. In order to learn more about CoPs, four CoPs within Hanze University Groningen, the Netherlands, were studied. Hanze University offers degree courses at the bachelor level. This research project investigates the functioning of CoPs by way of action research. Three questions are answered: How do CoPs work; what are the success factors? What are the success factors of CoPs in Higher Education as compared to those from literature? Can working as a CoP be taught, and if so, how should we go about this? The results are translated into an educational model for teaching and learning about CoPs, with the conclusion that teaching and learning about CoPs helps to start and nurture CoPs in an educational institution.