Learning communities are not an unknown concept. We basically start when we are students at school. Mostly, we do not see the advantages (except when you are the person who is free riding). Mostly it is more work and less efficient. BUT when I got older and started university I realised that there are some courses where it might be beneficial to work in a group. Now, in this Open Networked Learning course I fully see the potential. Our group makes so much out of each and everyones strength but I feel like there are some prerequisites:
- everyone has to put in effort
- the internal motivation
- shared values
- common goals
- fixed meeting times
- efficient work during that time
- good documentation
I really like Wenger`s quote: “On the one hand, a community of practice is a living context that can give newcomers access to competence and also can invite a personal experience of engagement by which to incorporate that competence into an identity of participation. On the other hand, a well functioning community of practice is a good context to explore radically new insights without becoming fools or stuck in some dead end.” (Wenger, 1998, p. 214)
Especially by using technology, it is easy to work collaboratively. Firstly, there needs to be a space for proper documentation and best would be a structured format (e.g. in a google doc or Etherpad). Secondly, there needs to be a virtual meeting room for the fixes meetings. Thirdly, there should be a platform, where people are encouraged to share knowledge. Something that is easy to access (e.g. Miro board or a Moodle). Also there should be a chat for quick communication (liek google chat)
How would I like to establish a community of practice?
I would really like to establish a learning community in my class or at my school. As I will be a teacher, it would be great if people get a platform where they can share knowledge and see the value of sharing.
On a small scale: When I am a teacher, I would need to give the students a task, where they are not limited in their creativity so that they can use the full potential of working collaboratively. What I learned is also to give them enough time to discuss how they want to work as a group. Also, I should be aware of the challenge of everyone just working on their part.
On a bigger scale: I wanna introduce a platform where teachers are encouraged to share research, teaching material or tools to be used in science classes. The benefit would be immense but I guess much patience is needed!
I really enjoyed working on topic 3 and I hope to be part of big learning communities in the future. I realised that I can extend my knowledge so much easier by learning from others. Thank you!
Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of practice: Learning, meaning, and identity (1st ed.). Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511803932