The Community of Practice/Community of Learning approach facilitates networks of people who have common interests and aims. It is through these communities, both informal and formal, that participants are able to interact, communicate, learn from one another, solve problems and create new knowledge. While the concept is certainly not new, many of the recent developments have seen organisations seeking to harness and develop knowledge that ?adds value? through knowledge management, individual and organisational learning. The central aim of this feasibility study was to identify the main issues that would influence the design and development of a Community of Pedagogic Practice (CoPP) at Southampton Solent University. There were four main parts to the study, starting with a detailed review of the literature relating to Communities of Practice/Learning Networks and Virtual communities of practice. Four leading practice Higher Education Institutions, with recently launched and/or established communities of learning were identified. Interviews with key members of staff from these institutions were used to gain an in-depth understanding of their experiences in developing and maintaining communities of learning. Internal stakeholder research at Southampton Solent University was also completed this included one to one interviews with key stakeholders responsible for research and scholarship, staff development, and learning and teaching. An online survey was administered in order to establish current and likely future pedagogic learning preferences of all academic and support staff. Finally, the technological assessment sought to evaluate the potential of the University intranet to provide an online space to support the development of a community of practice. The study concluded that there is broad support at Southampton Solent University for the establishment of a Community of Learning to support pedagogic research and share effective pedagogic practice. Similar initiatives at other Higher Education Institutions are proving beneficial and attracting considerable interest (for example the Inquiring Pedagogies (iPED) Research Network at Coventry University). Experience shows that the development of a successful Community of Learning will require time and persistence. A number of barriers and areas for particular attention have been identified from the literature and case study institutions. Awareness of these issues by the leaders of the proposed Community of Learning as Southampton Solent University will reduce the time needed for the network to become established and increase the return on investment.
|Publication status||Published - 1 Sep 2009|