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Communities of Learning and the differences between Communities of Practice

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  • moola1000
    Hello everyone, I m new to the list and just beginning to understand CoP and was wondering if you might help me identify the difference between Communities of
    Message 1 of 18 , May 9 6:51 PM
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      Hello everyone, I'm new to the list and just beginning to understand
      CoP and was wondering if you might help me identify the difference
      between Communities of Learning (CoL) and CoP. They both aspire to
      aspects of collegiality, they both attend to learn and research, they
      both rely on community. What are the differences?
    • Fred Nickols
      The difference is the practice. Fred Nickols fred@nickols.us
      Message 2 of 18 , May 10 5:54 PM
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        The difference is the "practice."

        Fred Nickols
        fred@...

        --- In com-prac@yahoogroups.com, "moola1000" <dan.woodrow@...> wrote:
        >
        > Hello everyone, I'm new to the list and just beginning to understand
        > CoP and was wondering if you might help me identify the difference
        > between Communities of Learning (CoL) and CoP. They both aspire to
        > aspects of collegiality, they both attend to learn and research, they
        > both rely on community. What are the differences?
        >
      • John Parboosingh
        I agree, In health care education, I would call Journal Clubs an example of Communities of Learners as they critique articles which is basically critical
        Message 3 of 18 , May 10 6:08 PM
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          I agree,
          In health care education, I would call Journal Clubs an example of Communities of Learners as they critique articles which is basically critical appraisal of evidence concerning someone else's practice. In CoPs, members  'critically reconstruct their own practice' as Etienne would say and collectively learn how to do it better.
           
          John Parboosingh MB FRCSC
          Professor Emeritus, University of Calgary
          Consultant, Community Learning
           
          Mailing address: 146 Rundle Crescent, Canmore,
          Alberta, Canada  T1W 2L6
          Phone (403) 609-3321
          Fax: (403) 609-3371
          Email address: parboo@...
           
           
          ----- Original Message -----
          Sent: Monday, May 10, 2010 6:54 PM
          Subject: [cp] Re: Communities of Learning and the differences between Communities of Practice

           

          The difference is the "practice."

          Fred Nickols
          fred@nickols. us

          --- In com-prac@yahoogroup s.com, "moola1000" <dan.woodrow@ ...> wrote:
          >
          > Hello everyone, I'm new to the list and just beginning to understand
          > CoP and was wondering if you might help me identify the difference
          > between Communities of Learning (CoL) and CoP. They both aspire to
          > aspects of collegiality, they both attend to learn and research, they
          > both rely on community. What are the differences?
          >

        • Trevor NESBIT
          Hi there I am not sure if this will be of use, but I have written a paper that aims to get a better understanding of what happens amongst a group of eLearning
          Message 4 of 18 , May 10 11:35 PM
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            Hi there

            I am not sure if this will be of use, but I have written a paper that aims to get a better understanding  of what happens amongst a group of eLearning students by analysing their interaction through a community of practice lens....  the outcome was that through developing an understanding of the community of practice phenomenon we can get a better understanding of what goes on with a group of eLearning the students...

            I can send you a copy of the paper if you like...

            Cheers

            Trevor



            From: moola1000 <dan.woodrow@...>
            To: com-prac@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Mon, 10 May, 2010 1:51:58 PM
            Subject: [cp] Communities of Learning and the differences between Communities of Practice

             

            Hello everyone, I'm new to the list and just beginning to understand
            CoP and was wondering if you might help me identify the difference
            between Communities of Learning (CoL) and CoP. They both aspire to
            aspects of collegiality, they both attend to learn and research, they
            both rely on community. What are the differences?

          • Asif Devji
            Hi Dan, From the models I ve seen, I would describe the crucial differences as: competition and recognition. The majority of CoP models I ve seen in org
            Message 5 of 18 , May 11 8:11 AM
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              Hi Dan,

              From the models I've seen, I would describe the crucial differences as: competition and recognition.

              The majority of CoP models I've seen in org contexts attempt to make employees (often in competition against one another within the organization) collaborate -- with the org perspective being that new ideas, business lines, etc. can come out of such communication -- in my experience, this doesn't work. The spaces tend to be fraught with strategic communications (if any at all) in which recognition is sought (but not always given) and mistakes or beyond-the-pale perspectives are hidden.

              The CoL models I've seen, however, bring together various learners from various environments with the stated purpose of learning. As such, mistakes made and documented are acceptable, and there is little competition among the members of such a community. Secondly, the CoL (I assume) integrates recognition (i.e. an online course successfully completed, with evaluation) that supports the learners' development.

              In my experience, the latter is a much more productive environment within which to operate and therefore to develop.

              One conclusion I might reach is that the CoL, with its clearly stated objectives, requirements and evaluation, allows members to be clear about their roles -- the CoP, without these, leaves members unsure about their roles (or identities -- corporate or individual) and therefore the types of communications expected of them within the community.

              Asif




              From: moola1000 <dan.woodrow@...>
              To: com-prac@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Sun, May 9, 2010 9:51:58 PM
              Subject: [cp] Communities of Learning and the differences between Communities of Practice

               

              Hello everyone, I'm new to the list and just beginning to understand
              CoP and was wondering if you might help me identify the difference
              between Communities of Learning (CoL) and CoP. They both aspire to
              aspects of collegiality, they both attend to learn and research, they
              both rely on community. What are the differences?


            • Dan Woodrow
              Thank you Asif for your comments. I wonder whether CoL and CoP are inseparatable from the the context and the situation one finds one self in. For example as
              Message 6 of 18 , May 11 7:46 PM
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                Thank you Asif for your comments. I wonder whether CoL and CoP are inseparatable from the the context and the situation one finds one self in.  For example as mentioned in a previous note CoL is familar to me in an educational setting where there is some competition in my program but the process of 'fitting' in and relational practice is very important.  This seems to be very different from the business setting.  I wonder if the need to fit in and being relational with others, such as developiing friendships, advances an organization. Would it make it easier to accept mistakes?
                 
                It's interesting how we look at communities of learning for me it is not so much a matter of outcomes but of the process.  Learning the process leaves a much lasting impression on the indvidual than what is actually learned. Good outcomes will eventually surface. 

                ----- Original Message -----
                From: Asif Devji <asif.devji@...>
                Date: Tuesday, May 11, 2010 8:22 am
                Subject: Re: [cp] Communities of Learning and the differences between Communities of Practice
                To: com-prac@yahoogroups.com

                > Hi Dan,
                >
                > From the models I've seen, I would describe the crucial
                > differences as: competition and recognition.
                >
                > The majority of CoP models I've seen in org contexts attempt to
                > make employees (often in competition against one another within
                > the organization) collaborate -- with the org perspective being
                > that new ideas, business lines, etc. can come out of such
                > communication -- in my experience, this doesn't work. The spaces
                > tend to be fraught with strategic communications (if any at all)
                > in which recognition is sought (but not always given) and
                > mistakes or beyond-the-pale perspectives are hidden.
                >
                > The CoL models I've seen, however, bring together various
                > learners from various environments with the stated purpose of
                > learning. As such, mistakes made and documented are acceptable,
                > and there is little competition among the members of such a
                > community. Secondly, the CoL (I assume) integrates recognition
                > (i.e. an online course successfully completed, with evaluation)
                > that supports the learners' development.
                >
                > In my experience, the latter is a much more productive
                > environment within which to operate and therefore to develop.
                >
                > One conclusion I might reach is that the CoL, with its clearly
                > stated objectives, requirements and evaluation, allows members
                > to be clear about their roles -- the CoP, without these, leaves
                > members unsure about their roles (or identities -- corporate or
                > individual) and therefore the types of communications expected
                > of them within the community.
                >
                > Asif
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > ________________________________
                > From: moola1000 <dan.woodrow@...>
                > To: com-prac@yahoogroups.com
                > Sent: Sun, May 9, 2010 9:51:58 PM
                > Subject: [cp] Communities of Learning and the differences
                > between Communities of Practice
                >
                >  
                > Hello everyone, I'm new to the list and just  beginning to
                > understandCoP and was wondering if you might help me identify
                > the difference
                > between Communities of Learning (CoL) and CoP.  They both
                > aspire to
                > aspects of collegiality, they both attend to learn and research, they
                > both rely on community.  What are the differences?
                >
                >
                >  
                >
                >
                >      

                Dan Woodrow
                Comox BC CA

                As when the golden sun salutes the morn,
                And, having gilt the ocean with his beams,
                Gallops the zodiac in his glistening coach,
                And overlooks the highest-peering hills.
                Shakespeare


              • bty364210
                Hello Dan - Having heard Etienne Wenger speak twice within the last week, and hopefully not misinterpreting him in any way, I think he would say that you are
                Message 7 of 18 , May 12 12:45 AM
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                  Hello Dan - Having heard Etienne Wenger speak twice within the last week, and hopefully not misinterpreting him in any way, I think he would say that you are maybe asking the wrong question. More important than whether you call something a CoP or a CoL is what does the community aspire to - what is it hoping to achieve? Having said that, the acronyms imply that CoP focusses on practice and CoL on learning.

                  You might be interested in this resource that I have recently been working on with a colleague - which comes with the health warning that it is work in progress - http://www.bucops.bham.ac.uk/

                  Hope this helps

                  Jenny

                  --- In com-prac@yahoogroups.com, Asif Devji <asif.devji@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Hi Dan,
                  >
                  > From the models I've seen, I would describe the crucial differences as: competition and recognition.
                  >
                  > The majority of CoP models I've seen in org contexts attempt to make employees (often in competition against one another within the organization) collaborate -- with the org perspective being that new ideas, business lines, etc. can come out of such communication -- in my experience, this doesn't work. The spaces tend to be fraught with strategic communications (if any at all) in which recognition is sought (but not always given) and mistakes or beyond-the-pale perspectives are hidden.
                  >
                  > The CoL models I've seen, however, bring together various learners from various environments with the stated purpose of learning. As such, mistakes made and documented are acceptable, and there is little competition among the members of such a community. Secondly, the CoL (I assume) integrates recognition (i.e. an online course successfully completed, with evaluation) that supports the learners' development.
                  >
                  > In my experience, the latter is a much more productive environment within which to operate and therefore to develop.
                  >
                  > One conclusion I might reach is that the CoL, with its clearly stated objectives, requirements and evaluation, allows members to be clear about their roles -- the CoP, without these, leaves members unsure about their roles (or identities -- corporate or individual) and therefore the types of communications expected of them within the community.
                  >
                  > Asif
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > ________________________________
                  > From: moola1000 <dan.woodrow@...>
                  > To: com-prac@yahoogroups.com
                  > Sent: Sun, May 9, 2010 9:51:58 PM
                  > Subject: [cp] Communities of Learning and the differences between Communities of Practice
                  >
                  >
                  > Hello everyone, I'm new to the list and just beginning to understand
                  > CoP and was wondering if you might help me identify the difference
                  > between Communities of Learning (CoL) and CoP. They both aspire to
                  > aspects of collegiality, they both attend to learn and research, they
                  > both rely on community. What are the differences?
                  >
                • Fred Nickols
                  Regarding Asif s post below: I am not surprised by the comments. There are probably countless numbers of such groups - what I would call faux CoPs - dreamed
                  Message 8 of 18 , May 12 3:02 PM
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                    Regarding Asif's post below:

                    I am not surprised by the comments. There are probably countless numbers of such groups - what I would call "faux CoPs" - dreamed up and drummed up by corporate managers and executives eager to exploit what they understand to be the benefits of a true CoP. Sadly, what they don't seem to get is that the very attempt to exploit them precludes their development or, in the case of those that existed already, it leads to their demise. In short, calling something a CoP doesn't mean it is a CoP.

                    Fred Nickols
                    fred@...


                    --- In com-prac@yahoogroups.com, Asif Devji <asif.devji@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Hi Dan,
                    >
                    > From the models I've seen, I would describe the crucial differences as: competition and recognition.
                    >
                    > The majority of CoP models I've seen in org contexts attempt to make employees (often in competition against one another within the organization) collaborate -- with the org perspective being that new ideas, business lines, etc. can come out of such communication -- in my experience, this doesn't work. The spaces tend to be fraught with strategic communications (if any at all) in which recognition is sought (but not always given) and mistakes or beyond-the-pale perspectives are hidden.
                    >
                    > The CoL models I've seen, however, bring together various learners from various environments with the stated purpose of learning. As such, mistakes made and documented are acceptable, and there is little competition among the members of such a community. Secondly, the CoL (I assume) integrates recognition (i.e. an online course successfully completed, with evaluation) that supports the learners' development.
                    >
                    > In my experience, the latter is a much more productive environment within which to operate and therefore to develop.
                    >
                    > One conclusion I might reach is that the CoL, with its clearly stated objectives, requirements and evaluation, allows members to be clear about their roles -- the CoP, without these, leaves members unsure about their roles (or identities -- corporate or individual) and therefore the types of communications expected of them within the community.
                    >
                    > Asif
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > ________________________________
                    > From: moola1000 <dan.woodrow@...>
                    > To: com-prac@yahoogroups.com
                    > Sent: Sun, May 9, 2010 9:51:58 PM
                    > Subject: [cp] Communities of Learning and the differences between Communities of Practice
                    >
                    >
                    > Hello everyone, I'm new to the list and just beginning to understand
                    > CoP and was wondering if you might help me identify the difference
                    > between Communities of Learning (CoL) and CoP. They both aspire to
                    > aspects of collegiality, they both attend to learn and research, they
                    > both rely on community. What are the differences?
                    >
                  • Dan Woodrow
                    Thanks Jenny, BTW great job on the resource it will be helpful to me and my colleagues who will also be interested. Sometimes I become too focused on the
                    Message 9 of 18 , May 12 5:49 PM
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                      Thanks Jenny, BTW great job on the resource it will be helpful to me and my colleagues who will also be interested. 
                       
                      Sometimes I become too focused on the solution and forget the importance of the community creating a vision.  What I am gathering is the experience of 'getting there' is much more organic then having a recipe to follow.  Although, it is helpful to create cultural aspects within an organization to generate an optimal environment for development.   

                      ----- Original Message -----
                      From: bty364210 <jenny.mackness@...>
                      Date: Wednesday, May 12, 2010 12:46 am
                      Subject: [cp] Re: Communities of Learning and the differences between Communities of Practice
                      To: com-prac@yahoogroups.com

                      > Hello Dan - Having heard Etienne Wenger speak twice within the
                      > last week, and hopefully not misinterpreting him in any way, I
                      > think he would say that you are maybe asking the wrong question.
                      > More important than whether you call something a CoP or a CoL is
                      > what does the community aspire to - what is it hoping to
                      > achieve? Having said that, the acronyms imply that CoP focusses
                      > on practice and CoL on learning.
                      >
                      > You might be interested in this resource that I have recently
                      > been working on with a colleague - which comes with the health
                      > warning that it is work in progress -
                      > http://www.bucops.bham.ac.uk/
                      >
                      > Hope this helps
                      >
                      > Jenny
                      >
                      > --- In com-prac@yahoogroups.com, Asif Devji <asif.devji@...> wrote:
                      > >
                      > > Hi Dan,
                      > >
                      > > From the models I've seen, I would describe the crucial
                      > differences as: competition and recognition.
                      > >
                      > > The majority of CoP models I've seen in org contexts attempt
                      > to make employees (often in competition against one another
                      > within the organization) collaborate -- with the org perspective
                      > being that new ideas, business lines, etc. can come out of such
                      > communication -- in my experience, this doesn't work. The spaces
                      > tend to be fraught with strategic communications (if any at all)
                      > in which recognition is sought (but not always given) and
                      > mistakes or beyond-the-pale perspectives are hidden.
                      > >
                      > > The CoL models I've seen, however, bring together various
                      > learners from various environments with the stated purpose of
                      > learning. As such, mistakes made and documented are acceptable,
                      > and there is little competition among the members of such a
                      > community. Secondly, the CoL (I assume) integrates recognition
                      > (i.e. an online course successfully completed, with evaluation)
                      > that supports the learners' development.
                      > >
                      > > In my experience, the latter is a much more productive
                      > environment within which to operate and therefore to develop.
                      > >
                      > > One conclusion I might reach is that the CoL, with its clearly
                      > stated objectives, requirements and evaluation, allows members
                      > to be clear about their roles -- the CoP, without these, leaves
                      > members unsure about their roles (or identities -- corporate or
                      > individual) and therefore the types of communications expected
                      > of them within the community.
                      > >
                      > > Asif
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > ________________________________
                      > > From: moola1000 <dan.woodrow@...>
                      > > To: com-prac@yahoogroups.com
                      > > Sent: Sun, May 9, 2010 9:51:58 PM
                      > > Subject: [cp] Communities of Learning and the differences
                      > between Communities of Practice
                      > >
                      > >  
                      > > Hello everyone, I'm new to the list and just  beginning
                      > to understand
                      > > CoP and was wondering if you might help me identify the difference
                      > > between Communities of Learning (CoL) and CoP.  They both
                      > aspire to
                      > > aspects of collegiality, they both attend to learn and
                      > research, they
                      > > both rely on community.  What are the differences?
                      > >
                      >
                      >
                      >

                      Dan Woodrow
                      Comox BC CA

                      As when the golden sun salutes the morn,
                      And, having gilt the ocean with his beams,
                      Gallops the zodiac in his glistening coach,
                      And overlooks the highest-peering hills.
                      Shakespeare


                    • Asif Devji
                      Hi Dan, I agree that context will determine the type of community that emerges, and that there are significant overlaps between the two -- both the CoL and the
                      Message 10 of 18 , May 12 6:36 PM
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                        Hi Dan,

                        I agree that context will determine the type of community that emerges, and that there are significant overlaps between the two -- both the CoL and the CoP are about gaining knowledge to be applied in one's practice.

                        My contexts have tended to be large organizations, with all their complicated internal politics -- including information hoarding and intentional misinformation -- in which the appropriateness of the word "community" can be questioned (tip of the hat to Fred Nickols's post).

                        On the other hand, the forum we're currently using for this discussion is for me a CoP (in which learning is the primary objective) -- the difference here is that we don't all work for the same organization, so collaboration is easy and helps us all.

                        Could we have the same discussion here if we were (i) in the same organization (ii) in the same type of position (iii) on competing teams? I think that fitting in with our own teams would probably take precedence over fitting in with the wider community.

                        I can't describe exactly how to do this, but I think that (re)positioning all CoPs as CoLs -- and thereby changing the objective from 'practice' to 'learning' (and the members from 'experts' to 'learners') -- might go a long way towards generating richer communications...at least in large org communities.

                        Asif


                        From: Dan Woodrow <dan.woodrow@...>
                        To: com-prac@yahoogroups.com
                        Cc: com-prac@yahoogroups.com
                        Sent: Tue, May 11, 2010 10:46:33 PM
                        Subject: Re: [cp] Communities of Learning and the differences between Communities of Practice

                         

                        Thank you Asif for your comments. I wonder whether CoL and CoP are inseparatable from the the context and the situation one finds one self in.  For example as mentioned in a previous note CoL is familar to me in an educational setting where there is some competition in my program but the process of 'fitting' in and relational practice is very important.  This seems to be very different from the business setting.  I wonder if the need to fit in and being relational with others, such as developiing friendships, advances an organization. Would it make it easier to accept mistakes?
                         
                        It's interesting how we look at communities of learning for me it is not so much a matter of outcomes but of the process.  Learning the process leaves a much lasting impression on the indvidual than what is actually learned. Good outcomes will eventually surface. 

                        ----- Original Message -----
                        From: Asif Devji <asif.devji@yahoo. com>
                        Date: Tuesday, May 11, 2010 8:22 am
                        Subject: Re: [cp] Communities of Learning and the differences between Communities of Practice
                        To: com-prac@yahoogroup s.com

                        > Hi Dan,
                        >
                        > From the models I've seen, I would describe the crucial
                        > differences as: competition and recognition.
                        >
                        > The majority of CoP models I've seen in org contexts attempt to
                        > make employees (often in competition against one another within
                        > the organization) collaborate -- with the org perspective being
                        > that new ideas, business lines, etc. can come out of such
                        > communication -- in my experience, this doesn't work. The spaces
                        > tend to be fraught with strategic communications (if any at all)
                        > in which recognition is sought (but not always given) and
                        > mistakes or beyond-the-pale perspectives are hidden.
                        >
                        > The CoL models I've seen, however, bring together various
                        > learners from various environments with the stated purpose of
                        > learning. As such, mistakes made and documented are acceptable,
                        > and there is little competition among the members of such a
                        > community. Secondly, the CoL (I assume) integrates recognition
                        > (i.e. an online course successfully completed, with evaluation)
                        > that supports the learners' development.
                        >
                        > In my experience, the latter is a much more productive
                        > environment within which to operate and therefore to develop.
                        >
                        > One conclusion I might reach is that the CoL, with its clearly
                        > stated objectives, requirements and evaluation, allows members
                        > to be clear about their roles -- the CoP, without these, leaves
                        > members unsure about their roles (or identities -- corporate or
                        > individual) and therefore the types of communications expected
                        > of them within the community.
                        >
                        > Asif
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > ____________ _________ _________ __
                        > From: moola1000 <dan.woodrow@ shaw.ca>
                        > To: com-prac@yahoogroup s.com
                        > Sent: Sun, May 9, 2010 9:51:58 PM
                        > Subject: [cp] Communities of Learning and the differences
                        > between Communities of Practice
                        >
                        >  
                        > Hello everyone, I'm new to the list and just  beginning to
                        > understandCoP and was wondering if you might help me identify
                        > the difference
                        > between Communities of Learning (CoL) and CoP.  They both
                        > aspire to
                        > aspects of collegiality, they both attend to learn and research, they
                        > both rely on community.  What are the differences?
                        >
                        >
                        >  
                        >
                        >
                        >      

                        Dan Woodrow
                        Comox BC CA

                        As when the golden sun salutes the morn,
                        And, having gilt the ocean with his beams,
                        Gallops the zodiac in his glistening coach,
                        And overlooks the highest-peering hills.
                        Shakespeare



                      • John David Smith
                        My question to CoL advocates would be: who’s doing the teaching in your community of learning? Who guides? Where does the curriculum come from? I’ve
                        Message 11 of 18 , May 14 9:03 AM
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                          My question to CoL advocates would be: who’s doing the teaching in your community of learning?  Who guides?  Where does the curriculum come from?  I’ve found that people who live and breathe education normally (maybe for religious reasons) conflate teaching and learning.  They assume that learning is always the result of teaching and so, like the drunk looking for his keys under the lamp-post because that’s where it’s easier to look for them, they look for learning in the vicinity of teaching.  The keys are elsewhere.  (And should he be driving, anyway?)

                           

                          My question to Fred re faux CoPs would be: what exactly is the practice in those groups?  If what the company or culture is concerned about is posing, then community members are learning to do exactly what they need to learn:  showing off to their executive sponsors.  (Don’t forget to blame all the consultants who have spawned faux CoPs, by the way.)  But let’s not underestimate the intelligence and awareness of people living in blind cultures.

                           

                          John

                          * John David Smith ~ Voice: 503.963.8229 ~ Skype & Twitter: smithjd

                          * Portland, Oregon, USA http://www.learningAlliances.net

                          * “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” Alan Kay

                        • Fred Nickols
                          ... I can t say without examining a particular faux CoP but, that said, I suspect there isn t one. They aren t organized around a practice; they re organized
                          Message 12 of 18 , May 16 7:09 PM
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                            --- In com-prac@yahoogroups.com, "John David Smith" <john.smith@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > My question to Fred re faux CoPs would be: what exactly
                            > is the practice in those groups?

                            I can't say without examining a particular faux CoP but, that said, I suspect there isn't one. They aren't organized around a practice; they're organized around something else and by someone else, not by the members.


                            > If what the company or culture is concerned about is
                            > posing, then community members are learning to do exactly
                            > what they need to learn: showing off to their executive
                            > sponsors.

                            I suspect they already know how to do that.

                            > (Don’t forget to blame all the consultants who have
                            > spawned faux CoPs, by the way.)

                            Ah, that's a chicken and egg or hooker and john or dealer and addict issue. Some of the consultants were no doubt pandering to their clients; some were well-intentioned but inept; and some simply muffed it.

                            > But let’s not underestimate the intelligence and
                            > awareness of people living in blind cultures.

                            And let's not over-estimate their ability to confront and deal with B.S. when it rolls downhill their way.

                            Regards,

                            Fred Nickols
                          • Asif Devji
                            Hi John, Good questions and good points. When I say CoL I m thinking of a group of students in a course, with curriculum and facilitator, which is where I feel
                            Message 13 of 18 , May 17 7:35 AM
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                              Hi John,

                              Good questions and good points.

                              When I say CoL I'm thinking of a group of students in a course, with curriculum and facilitator, which is where I feel I've seen the tech be put to best use.

                              When I say CoP I'm thinking of a group of employees occupying similar specializations or positions in an organization, which is where I find issues such as competition and recognition get in the way.

                              Theseare the models I've seen -- the analogy I would offer is the degree of collaboration that could be expected among law students in a course versus lawyers in practice -- in the second case, strategic control of information is the practice.

                              Then there's the type of community we're participating in now -- which I think is one of the better examples of a CoP where practice approaches theory (voluntary sharing, social learning) -- which I think works because as members we are not competing employees in a single organization. Could we have a conversation about 'faux CoPs' in such an org CoP?

                              The cultural context would determine the breadth of allowable discourse, and faux-ness, as you say, may be an accurate reflection of an info-controlling org culture. I agree that employees are strategic rather than unaware in emulating the types of communications expected (or not expected) of them in such a context -- but I wonder if this is the best use of the CoP.

                              A more common case I've seen is the inactive CoP -- organizationally sponsored and set up but never used by the members themselves. Why not?

                              On the other hand, I've rarely seen an inactive CoL (as I'm defining it). Why? What are the differences?

                              A comparison with an educational model on these terms might be an interesting way to find insights applicable to org CoP (and cultural) contexts.

                              Asif

                              From: John David Smith <john.smith@...>
                              To: com-prac@yahoogroups.com
                              Sent: Fri, May 14, 2010 12:03:42 PM
                              Subject: RE: [cp] Communities of Learning and the differences between Communities of Practice

                               

                              My question to CoL advocates would be: who’s doing the teaching in your community of learning?  Who guides?  Where does the curriculum come from?  I’ve found that people who live and breathe education normally (maybe for religious reasons) conflate teaching and learning.  They assume that learning is always the result of teaching and so, like the drunk looking for his keys under the lamp-post because that’s where it’s easier to look for them, they look for learning in the vicinity of teaching.  The keys are elsewhere.  (And should he be driving, anyway?)

                               

                              My question to Fred re faux CoPs would be: what exactly is the practice in those groups?  If what the company or culture is concerned about is posing, then community members are learning to do exactly what they need to learn:  showing off to their executive sponsors.  (Don’t forget to blame all the consultants who have spawned faux CoPs, by the way.)  But let’s not underestimate the intelligence and awareness of people living in blind cultures.

                               

                              John

                              * John David Smith ~ Voice: 503.963.8229 ~ Skype & Twitter: smithjd

                              * Portland, Oregon, USA http://www.learning Alliances. net

                              * “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” Alan Kay


                            • Dan Woodrow
                              Thank you Asif for your insight. As I read about your experiences I am reminded of the importance of context. I wonder whether an articling law student is in
                              Message 14 of 18 , May 17 6:15 PM
                              • 0 Attachment
                                Thank you Asif for your insight.  As I read about your experiences I am reminded of the importance of context.  I wonder whether an articling law student is in a CoL or a CoP situation.  Hopefully guided by experienced lawyers in a collaborate environment they are part of a CoP.  Similarly many students in health care professions are collaborating with full fledge professionals to appreciate professionalism in the work place. Or as a student group on a hospital unit they are assisting and helping each other just like professionals might do; problem solving, sharing information, communicating in a professional way.

                                ----- Original Message -----
                                From: Asif Devji <asif.devji@...>
                                Date: Monday, May 17, 2010 7:35 am
                                Subject: Re: [cp] Communities of Learning and the differences between Communities of Practice
                                To: com-prac@yahoogroups.com

                                >
                                >
                                > Hi John,
                                >
                                > Good questions and good points.
                                >
                                > When I say CoL 
                                > I'm thinking of a group of students in a course, with curriculum
                                > and facilitator, which is where I feel I've seen the tech be put
                                > to best use.
                                >
                                > When I say CoP I'm thinking of a group of
                                > employees occupying similar specializations or positions in an
                                > organization, which is where I find issues such as competition
                                > and recognition get in the way.
                                >
                                > These are the models I've seen -- the analogy I would offer is
                                > the degree of
                                > collaboration that could be expected among law students in a
                                > course
                                > versus lawyers in practice -- in the second case, strategic
                                > control of
                                > information is the practice.
                                >
                                > Then there's the type of community
                                > we're participating in now -- which I think is one of the better
                                > examples of a CoP where practice approaches theory (voluntary
                                > sharing, social learning) --
                                > which I think works because as members we are not competing
                                > employees in a single
                                > organization. Could we have a conversation about 'faux CoPs' in
                                > such an
                                > org
                                > CoP?
                                >
                                > The cultural context would determine the breadth of allowable
                                > discourse, and faux-ness, as you say, may be an
                                > accurate reflection
                                > of an info-controlling org culture. I agree that employees are
                                > strategic rather
                                > than unaware in emulating the types of communications expected
                                > (or not
                                > expected) of them in such a context -- but I wonder if this is
                                > the best
                                > use of the CoP.
                                >
                                > A more common case I've seen is the inactive CoP
                                > -- organizationally sponsored and set up but never used by the
                                > members
                                > themselves. Why not?
                                >
                                > On the other hand, I've rarely seen an
                                > inactive CoL (as I'm defining it). Why? What are the differences?
                                >
                                > A comparison with an educational model on these terms might be
                                > an
                                > interesting way to find insights applicable to org CoP (and
                                > cultural)
                                > contexts.
                                >
                                > Asif
                                >
                                > ________________________________
                                > From: John David Smith <john.smith@...>
                                > To: com-prac@yahoogroups.com
                                > Sent: Fri, May 14, 2010 12:03:42 PM
                                > Subject: RE: [cp] Communities of Learning and the differences
                                > between Communities of Practice
                                >
                                >  
                                > My question to CoL advocates would be: who’s doing the teaching
                                > in your community of learning?  Who guides?  Where
                                > does the curriculum come
                                > from?  I’ve found that people who live and breathe
                                > education normally (maybe
                                > for religious reasons) conflate teaching and learning. 
                                > They assume that
                                > learning is always the result of teaching and so, like the drunk
                                > looking for
                                > his keys under the lamp-post because that’s where it’s easier to
                                > look for them,
                                > they look for learning in the vicinity of teaching.  The
                                > keys are elsewhere.
                                > (And should he be driving, anyway?)
                                >  
                                > My question to Fred re faux CoPs would be: what exactly is the
                                > practice in those groups?  If what the company or culture
                                > is concerned about is
                                > posing, then community members are learning to do exactly what
                                > they need to
                                > learn:  showing off to their executive sponsors. 
                                > (Don’t forget to blame all
                                > the consultants who have spawned faux CoPs, by the way.) 
                                > But let’s not
                                > underestimate the intelligence and awareness of people living in blind
                                > cultures.
                                >  
                                > John
                                > * John David Smith ~ Voice: 503.963.8229 ~ Skype & Twitter:
                                > smithjd
                                > * Portland, Oregon, USA http://www.learning Alliances. net
                                > * “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” Alan Kay
                                >  
                                >
                                >
                                >      

                                Dan Woodrow
                                Comox BC CA

                                As when the golden sun salutes the morn,
                                And, having gilt the ocean with his beams,
                                Gallops the zodiac in his glistening coach,
                                And overlooks the highest-peering hills.
                                Shakespeare


                              • asif.devji
                                Hi Dan, Fantastic examples bridging the two worlds. I think you ve laid out the students perspectives well, but what about the practitioners -- the
                                Message 15 of 18 , May 19 8:45 AM
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                                  Hi Dan,

                                  Fantastic examples bridging the two worlds.

                                  I think you've laid out the students' perspectives well, but what about the practitioners -- the experienced lawyers and health-care professionals:

                                  i) What's in it for them?

                                  ii) Could I argue that the students are in a CoL and the practitioners in a CoP?

                                  iii) Would such a community just among the practitioners work (ie. no students)? Would it work if they were all in a single org?

                                  The incentives for student participation are clear -- the learner/expert roles are pre-set, the experience is part of a wider formal learning curriculum, including evaluation. Not necessarily so for the practitioners.

                                  In a previous discussion Peter Stoyko laid out some conditions for large-org CoP success:

                                  a) high tolerance for disagreement
                                  b) well-supported professional/ learning networks
                                  c) organizational knowledge centre
                                  d) frequent face-to-face interaction
                                  e) investment in employee development
                                  f) realistic expectations
                                  g) employee autonomy
                                  h) discretionary time
                                  i) common communities (as opposed to exclusive by specialization)

                                  The examples you provide could meet many if not all of these, in my view. I'm not sure how well they represent typical org CoPs, however.

                                  Would be nice to hear some success stories from the group.

                                  Thanks,
                                  Asif

                                  --- In com-prac@yahoogroups.com, Dan Woodrow <dan.woodrow@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > Thank you Asif for your insight. As I read about your experiences I am reminded of the importance of context. I wonder whether an articling law student is in a CoL or a CoP situation. Hopefully guided by experienced lawyers in a collaborate environment they are part of a CoP. Similarly many students in health care professions are collaborating with full fledge professionals to appreciate professionalism in the work place. Or as a student group on a hospital unit they are assisting and helping each other just like professionals might do; problem solving, sharing information, communicating in a professional way.
                                  >
                                  > ----- Original Message -----
                                  > From: Asif Devji <asif.devji@...>
                                  > Date: Monday, May 17, 2010 7:35 am
                                  > Subject: Re: [cp] Communities of Learning and the differences between Communities of Practice
                                  > To: com-prac@yahoogroups.com
                                  >
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > > Hi John,
                                  > >
                                  > > Good questions and good points.
                                  > >
                                  > > When I say CoL
                                  > > I'm thinking of a group of students in a course, with curriculum
                                  > > and facilitator, which is where I feel I've seen the tech be put
                                  > > to best use.
                                  > >
                                  > > When I say CoP I'm thinking of a group of
                                  > > employees occupying similar specializations or positions in an
                                  > > organization, which is where I find issues such as competition
                                  > > and recognition get in the way.
                                  > >
                                  > > These are the models I've seen -- the analogy I would offer is
                                  > > the degree of
                                  > > collaboration that could be expected among law students in a
                                  > > course
                                  > > versus lawyers in practice -- in the second case, strategic
                                  > > control of
                                  > > information is the practice.
                                  > >
                                  > > Then there's the type of community
                                  > > we're participating in now -- which I think is one of the better
                                  > > examples of a CoP where practice approaches theory (voluntary
                                  > > sharing, social learning) --
                                  > > which I think works because as members we are not competing
                                  > > employees in a single
                                  > > organization. Could we have a conversation about 'faux CoPs' in
                                  > > such an
                                  > > org
                                  > > CoP?
                                  > >
                                  > > The cultural context would determine the breadth of allowable
                                  > > discourse, and faux-ness, as you say, may be an
                                  > > accurate reflection
                                  > > of an info-controlling org culture. I agree that employees are
                                  > > strategic rather
                                  > > than unaware in emulating the types of communications expected
                                  > > (or not
                                  > > expected) of them in such a context -- but I wonder if this is
                                  > > the best
                                  > > use of the CoP.
                                  > >
                                  > > A more common case I've seen is the inactive CoP
                                  > > -- organizationally sponsored and set up but never used by the
                                  > > members
                                  > > themselves. Why not?
                                  > >
                                  > > On the other hand, I've rarely seen an
                                  > > inactive CoL (as I'm defining it). Why? What are the differences?
                                  > >
                                  > > A comparison with an educational model on these terms might be
                                  > > an
                                  > > interesting way to find insights applicable to org CoP (and
                                  > > cultural)
                                  > > contexts.
                                  > >
                                  > > Asif
                                  > >
                                  > > ________________________________
                                  > > From: John David Smith <john.smith@...>
                                  > > To: com-prac@yahoogroups.com
                                  > > Sent: Fri, May 14, 2010 12:03:42 PM
                                  > > Subject: RE: [cp] Communities of Learning and the differences
                                  > > between Communities of Practice
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > > My question to CoL advocates would be: who's doing the teaching
                                  > > in your community of learning? Who guides? Where
                                  > > does the curriculum come
                                  > > from? I've found that people who live and breathe
                                  > > education normally (maybe
                                  > > for religious reasons) conflate teaching and learning.
                                  > > They assume that
                                  > > learning is always the result of teaching and so, like the drunk
                                  > > looking for
                                  > > his keys under the lamp-post because that's where it's easier to
                                  > > look for them,
                                  > > they look for learning in the vicinity of teaching. The
                                  > > keys are elsewhere.
                                  > > (And should he be driving, anyway?)
                                  > >
                                  > > My question to Fred re faux CoPs would be: what exactly is the
                                  > > practice in those groups? If what the company or culture
                                  > > is concerned about is
                                  > > posing, then community members are learning to do exactly what
                                  > > they need to
                                  > > learn: showing off to their executive sponsors.
                                  > > (Don't forget to blame all
                                  > > the consultants who have spawned faux CoPs, by the way.)
                                  > > But let's not
                                  > > underestimate the intelligence and awareness of people living in blind
                                  > > cultures.
                                  > >
                                  > > John
                                  > > * John David Smith ~ Voice: 503.963.8229 ~ Skype & Twitter:
                                  > > smithjd
                                  > > * Portland, Oregon, USA http://www.learning Alliances. net
                                  > > * "The best way to predict the future is to invent it." Alan Kay
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  >
                                  > Dan Woodrow
                                  > Comox BC CA
                                  >
                                  > As when the golden sun salutes the morn,
                                  > And, having gilt the ocean with his beams,
                                  > Gallops the zodiac in his glistening coach,
                                  > And overlooks the highest-peering hills.
                                  > Shakespeare
                                  >
                                • Nancy White
                                  I can t help but wonder if students in this community (oL/oP) just have their practice domain slightly to the side of the experienced professionals. Their
                                  Message 16 of 18 , May 19 10:12 PM
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                                    I can't help but wonder if students in this "community" (oL/oP) just
                                    have their practice domain slightly to the side of the experienced
                                    professionals. Their practice is LEARNING TO BE (a lawyer in this
                                    example). But there IS practice, no?

                                    (Realizing that the distinctions between forms can be as challenging
                                    as they might be helpful and the value of the conversation for me is
                                    to explore groups from the Community/Domain/Practice lens rather than
                                    the lable we apply to the form. That's just me...)

                                    Nancy

                                    At 08:45 AM 5/19/2010, you wrote:
                                    >Hi Dan,
                                    >
                                    >Fantastic examples bridging the two worlds.
                                    >
                                    >I think you've laid out the students' perspectives well, but what
                                    >about the practitioners -- the experienced lawyers and health-care
                                    >professionals:
                                    >
                                    >i) What's in it for them?
                                    >
                                    >ii) Could I argue that the students are in a CoL and the
                                    >practitioners in a CoP?
                                    >
                                    >iii) Would such a community just among the practitioners work (ie.
                                    >no students)? Would it work if they were all in a single org?
                                    >
                                    >The incentives for student participation are clear -- the
                                    >learner/expert roles are pre-set, the experience is part of a wider
                                    >formal learning curriculum, including evaluation. Not necessarily so
                                    >for the practitioners.
                                    >
                                    >In a previous discussion Peter Stoyko laid out some conditions for
                                    >large-org CoP success:
                                    >
                                    >a) high tolerance for disagreement
                                    >b) well-supported professional/ learning networks
                                    >c) organizational knowledge centre
                                    >d) frequent face-to-face interaction
                                    >e) investment in employee development
                                    >f) realistic expectations
                                    >g) employee autonomy
                                    >h) discretionary time
                                    >i) common communities (as opposed to exclusive by specialization)
                                    >
                                    >The examples you provide could meet many if not all of these, in my
                                    >view. I'm not sure how well they represent typical org CoPs, however.
                                    >
                                    >Would be nice to hear some success stories from the group.
                                    >
                                    >Thanks,
                                    >Asif
                                    >
                                    >--- In com-prac@yahoogroups.com, Dan Woodrow <dan.woodrow@...> wrote:
                                    > >
                                    > > Thank you Asif for your insight. As I read about your
                                    > experiences I am reminded of the importance of context. I wonder
                                    > whether an articling law student is in a CoL or a CoP
                                    > situation. Hopefully guided by experienced lawyers in a
                                    > collaborate environment they are part of a CoP. Similarly many
                                    > students in health care professions are collaborating with full
                                    > fledge professionals to appreciate professionalism in the work
                                    > place. Or as a student group on a hospital unit they are assisting
                                    > and helping each other just like professionals might do; problem
                                    > solving, sharing information, communicating in a professional way.
                                    > >
                                    > > ----- Original Message -----
                                    > > From: Asif Devji <asif.devji@...>
                                    > > Date: Monday, May 17, 2010 7:35 am
                                    > > Subject: Re: [cp] Communities of Learning and the differences
                                    > between Communities of Practice
                                    > > To: com-prac@yahoogroups.com
                                    > >
                                    > > >
                                    > > >
                                    > > > Hi John,
                                    > > >
                                    > > > Good questions and good points.
                                    > > >
                                    > > > When I say CoL
                                    > > > I'm thinking of a group of students in a course, with curriculum
                                    > > > and facilitator, which is where I feel I've seen the tech be put
                                    > > > to best use.
                                    > > >
                                    > > > When I say CoP I'm thinking of a group of
                                    > > > employees occupying similar specializations or positions in an
                                    > > > organization, which is where I find issues such as competition
                                    > > > and recognition get in the way.
                                    > > >
                                    > > > These are the models I've seen -- the analogy I would offer is
                                    > > > the degree of
                                    > > > collaboration that could be expected among law students in a
                                    > > > course
                                    > > > versus lawyers in practice -- in the second case, strategic
                                    > > > control of
                                    > > > information is the practice.
                                    > > >
                                    > > > Then there's the type of community
                                    > > > we're participating in now -- which I think is one of the better
                                    > > > examples of a CoP where practice approaches theory (voluntary
                                    > > > sharing, social learning) --
                                    > > > which I think works because as members we are not competing
                                    > > > employees in a single
                                    > > > organization. Could we have a conversation about 'faux CoPs' in
                                    > > > such an
                                    > > > org
                                    > > > CoP?
                                    > > >
                                    > > > The cultural context would determine the breadth of allowable
                                    > > > discourse, and faux-ness, as you say, may be an
                                    > > > accurate reflection
                                    > > > of an info-controlling org culture. I agree that employees are
                                    > > > strategic rather
                                    > > > than unaware in emulating the types of communications expected
                                    > > > (or not
                                    > > > expected) of them in such a context -- but I wonder if this is
                                    > > > the best
                                    > > > use of the CoP.
                                    > > >
                                    > > > A more common case I've seen is the inactive CoP
                                    > > > -- organizationally sponsored and set up but never used by the
                                    > > > members
                                    > > > themselves. Why not?
                                    > > >
                                    > > > On the other hand, I've rarely seen an
                                    > > > inactive CoL (as I'm defining it). Why? What are the differences?
                                    > > >
                                    > > > A comparison with an educational model on these terms might be
                                    > > > an
                                    > > > interesting way to find insights applicable to org CoP (and
                                    > > > cultural)
                                    > > > contexts.
                                    > > >
                                    > > > Asif
                                    > > >
                                    > > > ________________________________
                                    > > > From: John David Smith <john.smith@...>
                                    > > > To: com-prac@yahoogroups.com
                                    > > > Sent: Fri, May 14, 2010 12:03:42 PM
                                    > > > Subject: RE: [cp] Communities of Learning and the differences
                                    > > > between Communities of Practice
                                    > > >
                                    > > >
                                    > > > My question to CoL advocates would be: who's doing the teaching
                                    > > > in your community of learning? Who guides? Where
                                    > > > does the curriculum come
                                    > > > from? I've found that people who live and breathe
                                    > > > education normally (maybe
                                    > > > for religious reasons) conflate teaching and learning.
                                    > > > They assume that
                                    > > > learning is always the result of teaching and so, like the drunk
                                    > > > looking for
                                    > > > his keys under the lamp-post because that's where it's easier to
                                    > > > look for them,
                                    > > > they look for learning in the vicinity of teaching. The
                                    > > > keys are elsewhere.
                                    > > > (And should he be driving, anyway?)
                                    > > >
                                    > > > My question to Fred re faux CoPs would be: what exactly is the
                                    > > > practice in those groups? If what the company or culture
                                    > > > is concerned about is
                                    > > > posing, then community members are learning to do exactly what
                                    > > > they need to
                                    > > > learn: showing off to their executive sponsors.
                                    > > > (Don't forget to blame all
                                    > > > the consultants who have spawned faux CoPs, by the way.)
                                    > > > But let's not
                                    > > > underestimate the intelligence and awareness of people living in blind
                                    > > > cultures.
                                    > > >
                                    > > > John
                                    > > > * John David Smith ~ Voice: 503.963.8229 ~ Skype & Twitter:
                                    > > > smithjd
                                    > > > * Portland, Oregon, USA http://www.learning Alliances. net
                                    > > > * "The best way to predict the future is to invent it." Alan Kay
                                    > > >
                                    > > >
                                    > > >
                                    > > >
                                    > >
                                    > > Dan Woodrow
                                    > > Comox BC CA
                                    > >
                                    > > As when the golden sun salutes the morn,
                                    > > And, having gilt the ocean with his beams,
                                    > > Gallops the zodiac in his glistening coach,
                                    > > And overlooks the highest-peering hills.
                                    > > Shakespeare
                                    > >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >------------------------------------
                                    >
                                    >*-- The email forum on communities of practice --*Yahoo! Groups Links
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >

                                    Nancy White | Full Circle Associates | Connecting communities online
                                    nancyw@... | +1 206 517 4754 | GMT - 8 |skype - choconancy |
                                    Twitter NancyWhite
                                    http://www.fullcirc.com/
                                  • Fred Nickols
                                    One of the earliest (1996) pieces about CoPs that I kept is by Tom Stewart when he was at FORTUNE Magazine. In light of the discussion about the differences
                                    Message 17 of 18 , May 22 7:27 AM
                                    • 0 Attachment
                                      One of the earliest (1996) pieces about CoPs that I kept is by Tom Stewart when he was at FORTUNE Magazine. In light of the discussion about the differences between CoPs and CoLs, it's well worth re-reading. Here's a link:

                                      http://www.nickols.us/invisible_key.htm

                                      Enjoy...

                                      Fred Nickols
                                      nickols@...


                                      --- In com-prac@yahoogroups.com, Nancy White <nancyw@...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      > I can't help but wonder if students in this "community" (oL/oP) just
                                      > have their practice domain slightly to the side of the experienced
                                      > professionals. Their practice is LEARNING TO BE (a lawyer in this
                                      > example). But there IS practice, no?
                                      >
                                      > (Realizing that the distinctions between forms can be as challenging
                                      > as they might be helpful and the value of the conversation for me is
                                      > to explore groups from the Community/Domain/Practice lens rather than
                                      > the lable we apply to the form. That's just me...)
                                      >
                                      > Nancy
                                      >
                                      > At 08:45 AM 5/19/2010, you wrote:
                                      > >Hi Dan,
                                      > >
                                      > >Fantastic examples bridging the two worlds.
                                      > >
                                      > >I think you've laid out the students' perspectives well, but what
                                      > >about the practitioners -- the experienced lawyers and health-care
                                      > >professionals:
                                      > >
                                      > >i) What's in it for them?
                                      > >
                                      > >ii) Could I argue that the students are in a CoL and the
                                      > >practitioners in a CoP?
                                      > >
                                      > >iii) Would such a community just among the practitioners work (ie.
                                      > >no students)? Would it work if they were all in a single org?
                                      > >
                                      > >The incentives for student participation are clear -- the
                                      > >learner/expert roles are pre-set, the experience is part of a wider
                                      > >formal learning curriculum, including evaluation. Not necessarily so
                                      > >for the practitioners.
                                      > >
                                      > >In a previous discussion Peter Stoyko laid out some conditions for
                                      > >large-org CoP success:
                                      > >
                                      > >a) high tolerance for disagreement
                                      > >b) well-supported professional/ learning networks
                                      > >c) organizational knowledge centre
                                      > >d) frequent face-to-face interaction
                                      > >e) investment in employee development
                                      > >f) realistic expectations
                                      > >g) employee autonomy
                                      > >h) discretionary time
                                      > >i) common communities (as opposed to exclusive by specialization)
                                      > >
                                      > >The examples you provide could meet many if not all of these, in my
                                      > >view. I'm not sure how well they represent typical org CoPs, however.
                                      > >
                                      > >Would be nice to hear some success stories from the group.
                                      > >
                                      > >Thanks,
                                      > >Asif
                                      > >
                                      > >--- In com-prac@yahoogroups.com, Dan Woodrow <dan.woodrow@> wrote:
                                      > > >
                                      > > > Thank you Asif for your insight. As I read about your
                                      > > experiences I am reminded of the importance of context. I wonder
                                      > > whether an articling law student is in a CoL or a CoP
                                      > > situation. Hopefully guided by experienced lawyers in a
                                      > > collaborate environment they are part of a CoP. Similarly many
                                      > > students in health care professions are collaborating with full
                                      > > fledge professionals to appreciate professionalism in the work
                                      > > place. Or as a student group on a hospital unit they are assisting
                                      > > and helping each other just like professionals might do; problem
                                      > > solving, sharing information, communicating in a professional way.
                                      > > >
                                      > > > ----- Original Message -----
                                      > > > From: Asif Devji <asif.devji@>
                                      > > > Date: Monday, May 17, 2010 7:35 am
                                      > > > Subject: Re: [cp] Communities of Learning and the differences
                                      > > between Communities of Practice
                                      > > > To: com-prac@yahoogroups.com
                                      > > >
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > > Hi John,
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > > Good questions and good points.
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > > When I say CoL
                                      > > > > I'm thinking of a group of students in a course, with curriculum
                                      > > > > and facilitator, which is where I feel I've seen the tech be put
                                      > > > > to best use.
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > > When I say CoP I'm thinking of a group of
                                      > > > > employees occupying similar specializations or positions in an
                                      > > > > organization, which is where I find issues such as competition
                                      > > > > and recognition get in the way.
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > > These are the models I've seen -- the analogy I would offer is
                                      > > > > the degree of
                                      > > > > collaboration that could be expected among law students in a
                                      > > > > course
                                      > > > > versus lawyers in practice -- in the second case, strategic
                                      > > > > control of
                                      > > > > information is the practice.
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > > Then there's the type of community
                                      > > > > we're participating in now -- which I think is one of the better
                                      > > > > examples of a CoP where practice approaches theory (voluntary
                                      > > > > sharing, social learning) --
                                      > > > > which I think works because as members we are not competing
                                      > > > > employees in a single
                                      > > > > organization. Could we have a conversation about 'faux CoPs' in
                                      > > > > such an
                                      > > > > org
                                      > > > > CoP?
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > > The cultural context would determine the breadth of allowable
                                      > > > > discourse, and faux-ness, as you say, may be an
                                      > > > > accurate reflection
                                      > > > > of an info-controlling org culture. I agree that employees are
                                      > > > > strategic rather
                                      > > > > than unaware in emulating the types of communications expected
                                      > > > > (or not
                                      > > > > expected) of them in such a context -- but I wonder if this is
                                      > > > > the best
                                      > > > > use of the CoP.
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > > A more common case I've seen is the inactive CoP
                                      > > > > -- organizationally sponsored and set up but never used by the
                                      > > > > members
                                      > > > > themselves. Why not?
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > > On the other hand, I've rarely seen an
                                      > > > > inactive CoL (as I'm defining it). Why? What are the differences?
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > > A comparison with an educational model on these terms might be
                                      > > > > an
                                      > > > > interesting way to find insights applicable to org CoP (and
                                      > > > > cultural)
                                      > > > > contexts.
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > > Asif
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > > ________________________________
                                      > > > > From: John David Smith <john.smith@>
                                      > > > > To: com-prac@yahoogroups.com
                                      > > > > Sent: Fri, May 14, 2010 12:03:42 PM
                                      > > > > Subject: RE: [cp] Communities of Learning and the differences
                                      > > > > between Communities of Practice
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > > My question to CoL advocates would be: who's doing the teaching
                                      > > > > in your community of learning? Who guides? Where
                                      > > > > does the curriculum come
                                      > > > > from? I've found that people who live and breathe
                                      > > > > education normally (maybe
                                      > > > > for religious reasons) conflate teaching and learning.
                                      > > > > They assume that
                                      > > > > learning is always the result of teaching and so, like the drunk
                                      > > > > looking for
                                      > > > > his keys under the lamp-post because that's where it's easier to
                                      > > > > look for them,
                                      > > > > they look for learning in the vicinity of teaching. The
                                      > > > > keys are elsewhere.
                                      > > > > (And should he be driving, anyway?)
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > > My question to Fred re faux CoPs would be: what exactly is the
                                      > > > > practice in those groups? If what the company or culture
                                      > > > > is concerned about is
                                      > > > > posing, then community members are learning to do exactly what
                                      > > > > they need to
                                      > > > > learn: showing off to their executive sponsors.
                                      > > > > (Don't forget to blame all
                                      > > > > the consultants who have spawned faux CoPs, by the way.)
                                      > > > > But let's not
                                      > > > > underestimate the intelligence and awareness of people living in blind
                                      > > > > cultures.
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > > John
                                      > > > > * John David Smith ~ Voice: 503.963.8229 ~ Skype & Twitter:
                                      > > > > smithjd
                                      > > > > * Portland, Oregon, USA http://www.learning Alliances. net
                                      > > > > * "The best way to predict the future is to invent it." Alan Kay
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > >
                                      > > >
                                      > > > Dan Woodrow
                                      > > > Comox BC CA
                                      > > >
                                      > > > As when the golden sun salutes the morn,
                                      > > > And, having gilt the ocean with his beams,
                                      > > > Gallops the zodiac in his glistening coach,
                                      > > > And overlooks the highest-peering hills.
                                      > > > Shakespeare
                                      > > >
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > >------------------------------------
                                      > >
                                      > >*-- The email forum on communities of practice --*Yahoo! Groups Links
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      >
                                      > Nancy White | Full Circle Associates | Connecting communities online
                                      > nancyw@... | +1 206 517 4754 | GMT - 8 |skype - choconancy |
                                      > Twitter NancyWhite
                                      > http://www.fullcirc.com/
                                      >
                                    • asif.devji
                                      Hi Nancy, Understood -- sometimes its a fine line between learning and practice, and the two feed each other in iterative loops -- I m less concerned with the
                                      Message 18 of 18 , May 25 7:29 AM
                                      • 0 Attachment
                                        Hi Nancy,

                                        Understood -- sometimes its a fine line between learning and practice, and the two feed each other in iterative loops -- I'm less concerned with the labels than the contexts.

                                        That said, tip of the hat to Dan, for the subject line and for kicking off this discussion.

                                        My question is: What incentives for participation exist in the student context that don't exist in the organizational context, and further, to what extent can they be reproduced in the latter? (...and vice-versa)

                                        Asif



                                        --- In com-prac@yahoogroups.com, Nancy White <nancyw@...> wrote:
                                        >
                                        > I can't help but wonder if students in this "community" (oL/oP) just
                                        > have their practice domain slightly to the side of the experienced
                                        > professionals. Their practice is LEARNING TO BE (a lawyer in this
                                        > example). But there IS practice, no?
                                        >
                                        > (Realizing that the distinctions between forms can be as challenging
                                        > as they might be helpful and the value of the conversation for me is
                                        > to explore groups from the Community/Domain/Practice lens rather than
                                        > the lable we apply to the form. That's just me...)
                                        >
                                        > Nancy
                                        >
                                        > At 08:45 AM 5/19/2010, you wrote:
                                        > >Hi Dan,
                                        > >
                                        > >Fantastic examples bridging the two worlds.
                                        > >
                                        > >I think you've laid out the students' perspectives well, but what
                                        > >about the practitioners -- the experienced lawyers and health-care
                                        > >professionals:
                                        > >
                                        > >i) What's in it for them?
                                        > >
                                        > >ii) Could I argue that the students are in a CoL and the
                                        > >practitioners in a CoP?
                                        > >
                                        > >iii) Would such a community just among the practitioners work (ie.
                                        > >no students)? Would it work if they were all in a single org?
                                        > >
                                        > >The incentives for student participation are clear -- the
                                        > >learner/expert roles are pre-set, the experience is part of a wider
                                        > >formal learning curriculum, including evaluation. Not necessarily so
                                        > >for the practitioners.
                                        > >
                                        > >In a previous discussion Peter Stoyko laid out some conditions for
                                        > >large-org CoP success:
                                        > >
                                        > >a) high tolerance for disagreement
                                        > >b) well-supported professional/ learning networks
                                        > >c) organizational knowledge centre
                                        > >d) frequent face-to-face interaction
                                        > >e) investment in employee development
                                        > >f) realistic expectations
                                        > >g) employee autonomy
                                        > >h) discretionary time
                                        > >i) common communities (as opposed to exclusive by specialization)
                                        > >
                                        > >The examples you provide could meet many if not all of these, in my
                                        > >view. I'm not sure how well they represent typical org CoPs, however.
                                        > >
                                        > >Would be nice to hear some success stories from the group.
                                        > >
                                        > >Thanks,
                                        > >Asif
                                        > >
                                        > >--- In com-prac@yahoogroups.com, Dan Woodrow <dan.woodrow@> wrote:
                                        > > >
                                        > > > Thank you Asif for your insight. As I read about your
                                        > > experiences I am reminded of the importance of context. I wonder
                                        > > whether an articling law student is in a CoL or a CoP
                                        > > situation. Hopefully guided by experienced lawyers in a
                                        > > collaborate environment they are part of a CoP. Similarly many
                                        > > students in health care professions are collaborating with full
                                        > > fledge professionals to appreciate professionalism in the work
                                        > > place. Or as a student group on a hospital unit they are assisting
                                        > > and helping each other just like professionals might do; problem
                                        > > solving, sharing information, communicating in a professional way.
                                        > > >
                                        > > > ----- Original Message -----
                                        > > > From: Asif Devji <asif.devji@>
                                        > > > Date: Monday, May 17, 2010 7:35 am
                                        > > > Subject: Re: [cp] Communities of Learning and the differences
                                        > > between Communities of Practice
                                        > > > To: com-prac@yahoogroups.com
                                        > > >
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > > Hi John,
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > > Good questions and good points.
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > > When I say CoL
                                        > > > > I'm thinking of a group of students in a course, with curriculum
                                        > > > > and facilitator, which is where I feel I've seen the tech be put
                                        > > > > to best use.
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > > When I say CoP I'm thinking of a group of
                                        > > > > employees occupying similar specializations or positions in an
                                        > > > > organization, which is where I find issues such as competition
                                        > > > > and recognition get in the way.
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > > These are the models I've seen -- the analogy I would offer is
                                        > > > > the degree of
                                        > > > > collaboration that could be expected among law students in a
                                        > > > > course
                                        > > > > versus lawyers in practice -- in the second case, strategic
                                        > > > > control of
                                        > > > > information is the practice.
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > > Then there's the type of community
                                        > > > > we're participating in now -- which I think is one of the better
                                        > > > > examples of a CoP where practice approaches theory (voluntary
                                        > > > > sharing, social learning) --
                                        > > > > which I think works because as members we are not competing
                                        > > > > employees in a single
                                        > > > > organization. Could we have a conversation about 'faux CoPs' in
                                        > > > > such an
                                        > > > > org
                                        > > > > CoP?
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > > The cultural context would determine the breadth of allowable
                                        > > > > discourse, and faux-ness, as you say, may be an
                                        > > > > accurate reflection
                                        > > > > of an info-controlling org culture. I agree that employees are
                                        > > > > strategic rather
                                        > > > > than unaware in emulating the types of communications expected
                                        > > > > (or not
                                        > > > > expected) of them in such a context -- but I wonder if this is
                                        > > > > the best
                                        > > > > use of the CoP.
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > > A more common case I've seen is the inactive CoP
                                        > > > > -- organizationally sponsored and set up but never used by the
                                        > > > > members
                                        > > > > themselves. Why not?
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > > On the other hand, I've rarely seen an
                                        > > > > inactive CoL (as I'm defining it). Why? What are the differences?
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > > A comparison with an educational model on these terms might be
                                        > > > > an
                                        > > > > interesting way to find insights applicable to org CoP (and
                                        > > > > cultural)
                                        > > > > contexts.
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > > Asif
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > > ________________________________
                                        > > > > From: John David Smith <john.smith@>
                                        > > > > To: com-prac@yahoogroups.com
                                        > > > > Sent: Fri, May 14, 2010 12:03:42 PM
                                        > > > > Subject: RE: [cp] Communities of Learning and the differences
                                        > > > > between Communities of Practice
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > > My question to CoL advocates would be: who's doing the teaching
                                        > > > > in your community of learning? Who guides? Where
                                        > > > > does the curriculum come
                                        > > > > from? I've found that people who live and breathe
                                        > > > > education normally (maybe
                                        > > > > for religious reasons) conflate teaching and learning.
                                        > > > > They assume that
                                        > > > > learning is always the result of teaching and so, like the drunk
                                        > > > > looking for
                                        > > > > his keys under the lamp-post because that's where it's easier to
                                        > > > > look for them,
                                        > > > > they look for learning in the vicinity of teaching. The
                                        > > > > keys are elsewhere.
                                        > > > > (And should he be driving, anyway?)
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > > My question to Fred re faux CoPs would be: what exactly is the
                                        > > > > practice in those groups? If what the company or culture
                                        > > > > is concerned about is
                                        > > > > posing, then community members are learning to do exactly what
                                        > > > > they need to
                                        > > > > learn: showing off to their executive sponsors.
                                        > > > > (Don't forget to blame all
                                        > > > > the consultants who have spawned faux CoPs, by the way.)
                                        > > > > But let's not
                                        > > > > underestimate the intelligence and awareness of people living in blind
                                        > > > > cultures.
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > > John
                                        > > > > * John David Smith ~ Voice: 503.963.8229 ~ Skype & Twitter:
                                        > > > > smithjd
                                        > > > > * Portland, Oregon, USA http://www.learning Alliances. net
                                        > > > > * "The best way to predict the future is to invent it." Alan Kay
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > >
                                        > > >
                                        > > > Dan Woodrow
                                        > > > Comox BC CA
                                        > > >
                                        > > > As when the golden sun salutes the morn,
                                        > > > And, having gilt the ocean with his beams,
                                        > > > Gallops the zodiac in his glistening coach,
                                        > > > And overlooks the highest-peering hills.
                                        > > > Shakespeare
                                        > > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >------------------------------------
                                        > >
                                        > >*-- The email forum on communities of practice --*Yahoo! Groups Links
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        >
                                        > Nancy White | Full Circle Associates | Connecting communities online
                                        > nancyw@... | +1 206 517 4754 | GMT - 8 |skype - choconancy |
                                        > Twitter NancyWhite
                                        > http://www.fullcirc.com/
                                        >
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