Communities of Practice (CoPs) are groups who share similar interests, concerns, problems, or passion around a topic. Together, they expand and exchange knowledge by interacting on an ongoing basis and building a repository of knowledge for current and future members.
At USF, we have several CoPs that span different departments/colleges while sharing similar interests.
Frequently Asked Questions
Space may be online, in-person or hybrid. Because formats may differ, make sure that you can commit to the specific expecations of a CoP. For example, one CoP may be entirely online with resource libraries and online discussion boards. Another CoP may rely on frequent in-person meetups.
Often formed around professions or roles within an industry or organization, a CoP may be large with hundreds or people or small with 10-20 members. Stack Overflow is an online example of a large CoP dedicated to computer programming. They have thousands of fully online members who ask questions via discussion boards, access the library of resources, and offer new solutions to keep building that library.
For a small example, consider a school with a CoP for teachers to share ideas around a specific subject such as integrating digital literacy across different classes.
In either case, members are passionate about the topic and want to learn, offer their own input and help build a resources of knowledge for the future (libraries, logs, websites, etc.). There will be various view points and a mix of people with differing experiences and knowledge to share and absorb.
According to the 70:20:10 Model for Learning and Development, people learn by the following:
- Taking on real-world, challenging assignments may represent 70%of learning.
- Learning from others via shadowing or coaching may represent 20% of learning.
- Formal coursework and training may represent 10% of learning.
For information about the definition, purpose and tips in creating successful CoPs, click here: https://tribe.so/glossary/community-of-practice/
More in-depth information can be found in the book A Guide to Managing Knowledge: Cultivating Communities of Practice by Wenger, McDermott, Snyder, 2002.
|Name of CoP||Owner||Who Can Participate||Contact for More Information|
|Talent Management||Central Human Resources||HR Partners and Mid-Level Managersemail@example.com|
|The purpose is to cultivate a Community of Practice (CoP) for mid-level managers that will connect managers throughout the university, generate and implement innovative ideas, and diagnose recurring problems whose root causes cross departmental boundaries.|
|HR Academy||HR Learning & Talent Management||Anyone who is currently enrolled or has completed the HR Academyfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|This CoP will continue to expand and share knowledge pertaining to topics covered in the HR Academy cohort programs. What is the HR Academy? In alignment with USF's Pursuit of Excellence, HR Academy takes all HR Professionals along the journey of the employee life cycle. Together as a Community of Practice, we collaborate around USF's foundational HR principles and beliefs resulting in a nurturing, motivating and diversified community of celebrated professionals. This program includes four online modules that are self-paced. Each week, there is a live session to reinforce the online learning in a Community of Practice.|
If you have a CoP that you would like to include on list, please email your information to us at email@example.com