Building a community of practice: technological and social implications for a distributed team

Bradshaw, Pete; Powell, Stephen and Terrell, Ian (2003). Building a community of practice: technological and social implications for a distributed team. In: Hildreth, Paul and Kimble, Chris eds. Knowledge networks: Innovation through communities in practice. London, UK: Idea Group, pp. 184–201.

URL: http://www.igi-global.com/book/knowledge-networks-...

Abstract

This chapter looks at the work of a team of remote workers and how they have developed into a Community of Practice (CoP). It explores the roles that technology and communication methods have on the formation and development of the community. In telling the story of the progression from a team of individuals to a CoP, the chapter provides a practical guide to others wishing to do the same. Two aspects of the work of the team are considered in depth: 1) Building Communication Systems across a Distributed CoP 2) Building commitment, ownership, engagement and focus in a Distributed CoP The team and community on which the chapter is based is one of some 20 people working remotely for Ultralab, a learning, technology and research centre in Chelmsford UK. The work of the team is online facilitation for the National College of School Leadership (NCSL). The team meet together approximately four times a year, using an online community space, the Facilitators' Forum, as their day-to-day working space.

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