MODEL

Adult Learner

Systems Change
Adult Learner > Strategies > Communities of Practice

Communities of Practice

Overview

Adult learners can self-organize into groups called communities of practice to engage in longer-term examination of a topic to build deeper understanding. These can be in the context of workplace learning, in an educational setting, or can be informal communities that form around mutual interests. Community members can share expertise and resources with each other based on their differing Background Knowledge.

Use It In Your Learning Environment

Adults can form communities of practice or inquiry in person or in online spaces according to their interests, supporting Motivation. This informal model where learners engage with a relevant issue or practice may work well for learners outside of a traditional learning setting, while building Disciplinary Literacy and Social Awareness & Relationship Skills. Members can share what they know and learn from others, allowing roles for both experts and novices. Communities of practice can take the form of professional learning communities, book clubs, or other groups that meet regularly in service of a joint goal and lifelong learning of new skills, such as Digital Literacy. The success of this format may depend on the consistency of the membership, frequency of engagement, and quality of interaction between members.