Online community and community of practice

8 views
Skip to first unread message

Joao Alves

unread,
Aug 10, 2008, 2:54:34 PM8/10/08
to Facilitating Online Communities
Our assignment is to post our thoughts to the blog about an online
community. In Wenger's text "Communities of Practice - Learning as a
Social System" he writes about communities of practice. Are
communities of practice and online communities exactly the same thing?

Gabriela Sellart

unread,
Aug 10, 2008, 3:11:22 PM8/10/08
to Facilitating Online Communities
I think CoP have a learning objective. Maybe that's the difference.

Mike Bogle

unread,
Aug 10, 2008, 3:44:49 PM8/10/08
to facilitating-on...@googlegroups.com
Not necessarily, I think. I think the broader notion of CoP is inclusive and applies to all locations where they might exist; online communities are more specific relatively speaking and refer to a medium as well. 

Certainly the nature of the online community is worth considering as well.  For example, Wenger indicates

"A community of practice defines itself along three dimensions:
  • What it is about – its joint enterprise as understood and continually renegotiated by its members
  • How it functions - mutual engagement that bind members together into a social entity
  • What capability it has produced – the shared repertoire of communal resources (routines, sensibilities, artifacts, vocabulary, styles, etc.) that members have developed over time."
It would seem conceivable that a community (in fact any community - not just online), is not necessarily a community of practice either.

I'd love to explore and expand on this but am running late for work! Will try to pick this up later this morning :)

Cheers,

Mike Bogle
Em: michael...@gmail.com
Blog: http://techticker.net
SL: Zapp Aeon

Derek Chirnside

unread,
Aug 10, 2008, 6:09:13 PM8/10/08
to facilitating-on...@googlegroups.com
I do not think so.
Not all communities have some attributes that a community of practice has.
In the wenger model.

Blonging, identity, learning, roles, a practice, glue, rhythms, nurture.
Most of these (I think) need to be present.
They may or may not be there in a little online community that meets up as fans of a music group (no practice) for example.

The question leads to this; in real life, does the distinction matter?

-Derek

2008/8/11 Joao Alves <j.al...@gmail.com>



--
From Derek Chirnside.

Leigh Blackall

unread,
Aug 10, 2008, 6:13:06 PM8/10/08
to facilitating-on...@googlegroups.com
Hello everyone,

I'm back from a weekend of skiing :) (Photos)

Joao Alves:
Our assignment is to post our thoughts to the blog about an online
community. In Wenger's text "Communities of Practice - Learning as a
Social System" he writes about communities of practice. Are
communities of practice and online communities exactly the same thing?

Mike Bogle:

I think the broader notion of CoP is inclusive and applies to all locations where they might exist; online communities are more specific relatively speaking and refer to a medium as well. 

Gabriela Sellart

I think CoP have a learning objective. Maybe that's the difference. 

Derek Chirnside:
Not all communities have some attributes that a community of practice has. Blonging, identity, learning, roles, a practice, glue, rhythms, nurture.

Most of these (I think) need to be present.
They may or may not be there in a little online community that meets up as fans of a music group (no practice) for example.

I too wonder if there is a difference between an online community and a community of practice. Looking at the words alone (and considering what I know about Wenger) there are small differences..

Wenger does not limit his considerations to communities online

We are not limiting our considerations to practice

So, what are the aspects of Wenger's paper that focus in on community? How do the other readings in the wiki help us expand on our understanding of online community?
--
--
Leigh Blackall
+64(0)21736539
skype - leigh_blackall
SL - Leroy Goalpost
http://learnonline.wordpress.com

Bronwyn Stuckey

unread,
Aug 10, 2008, 10:23:12 PM8/10/08
to facilitating-on...@googlegroups.com
Hi everyone,

In Wenger's model the community of practice has three interrelated components; domain, community and practice.
So he sees community as a part but not the whole, not all that holds to group together. I agree with this. Whether a group is a CoP or not really depends on the practice. For instance, I am fascinated by forensic science and I love to partake of discussions about it - but I do not work in the field nor ever aspire to, I do not practice it. I have an interest and could talk about the science of it from a spectators view. But a CoP for forensic scientists is made up of thise who practice it and would want to share knoweldge gained from within their practice not just knowledge of it.

To be a CoP you need to be readily able to identify the practice. I think this FOC08 group is on its way to being, even if only temporary (17 weeks),  a CoP.  Facilitation in online communities is our practice and we are all at various stages of our development of that practice - we do all aspire to practice it.

So to me community exists as a component of many kinds of groups - learning communities, CoP, communities of interest, online communities,  etc etc etc and the notion of community is both the same and a little different in each. Does that make sense?

~ Bron

Russ

unread,
Aug 10, 2008, 10:40:16 PM8/10/08
to Facilitating Online Communities
Like any community and a persons belonging, there is the need to
understand the way the community functions and the mores by which it
exists. Learning according to our readings is more then a linear
experience. It is enhanced or reduced and shaped by the context,
socially, and in our case technologically. Online communities don't
appear to be too different.

NELLIE DEUTSCH

unread,
Aug 10, 2008, 10:52:41 PM8/10/08
to facilitating-on...@googlegroups.com

vcautin

unread,
Aug 10, 2008, 11:19:06 PM8/10/08
to facilitating-on...@googlegroups.com


2008/8/10 Bronwyn Stuckey <bronwyn...@gmail.com>

Hi everyone,

In Wenger's model the community of practice has three interrelated components; domain, community and practice.
So he sees community as a part but not the whole, not all that holds to group together. I agree with this. Whether a group is a CoP or not really depends on the practice. For instance, I am fascinated by forensic science and I love to partake of discussions about it - but I do not work in the field nor ever aspire to, I do not practice it. I have an interest and could talk about the science of it from a spectators view. But a CoP for forensic scientists is made up of thise who practice it and would want to share knoweldge gained from within their practice not just knowledge of it.

Dear Bronwyn,
I'm sorry I don't understand if by "practice" here you  mean that it has to be related to a job. 
Is a community of christian parents a CoP? I would say yes if they are commited to raising their children according to christian's principles (what about), then they are mutually engaged(they are commited to the community), and they have a "know how" of best parenting practices.
(I'm testing hypotheses with that example)

Violeta

 

To be a CoP you need to be readily able to identify the practice. I think this FOC08 group is on its way to being, even if only temporary (17 weeks),  a CoP.  Facilitation in online communities is our practice and we are all at various stages of our development of that practice - we do all aspire to practice it.

So to me community exists as a component of many kinds of groups - learning communities, CoP, communities of interest, online communities,  etc etc etc and the notion of community is both the same and a little different in each. Does that make sense?

~ Bron





--
Violeta Cautin
Iquique, Chile

http://fco08violeta.blogspot.com

http://profesoresinnovadores.ning.com
Facebook: Violeta Cautin Epifani



Bronwyn Stuckey

unread,
Aug 10, 2008, 11:54:15 PM8/10/08
to facilitating-on...@googlegroups.com
Thanks Violetta for offering this fine example of a CoP. Practice does indeed not mean a job or means of earning a living  as such but something that you practice (and care passionatley about) . So raising a child in a Christian faith is a set of beliefs, knowledge actions that these parents all practice. They are not just interested in how parents raise christian children they are doing it. The practice in question is readily identifiable.

For me a worrying area is when people call a class of learners a CoP and say that learning is the practice.  That is really too large and amorphous to be one practice. A class of students learning accounting by engaging in scenarios as practitioners, possibly with real practitioners in the class as mentors is beginning to take on a CoP approach.

For me the dynamicism of CoPs and the difference between them and other groups lies is a distinction made by John Seely Brown.
Seely Brown (2002)  effectively exploits a Bruner analogy to unpack the concepts of practice and knowledge when he describes the differences between learning physics and being a physicist.  "Learning to be a physicist (as opposed to learning about physics) requires cutting a column down the middle of the diagram, looking at the deep interplay between the tacit and explicit. That's where deep expertise lies. Acquiring this expertise requires learning the explicit knowledge of a field, the practices of its community, and the interplay between the two."  (Brown, 2002, p. 20)

Brown, J. S. (2002). Growing up digital: How the web changes work, education, and the ways people learn. USDLA Journal, 16(2), 15-28.



What do you think?

~ Bron

vcautin

unread,
Aug 11, 2008, 12:39:54 AM8/11/08
to facilitating-on...@googlegroups.com


2008/8/10 Bronwyn Stuckey <bronwyn...@gmail.com>

Thanks Violetta for offering this fine example of a CoP. Practice does indeed not mean a job or means of earning a living  as such but something that you practice (and care passionatley about) . So raising a child in a Christian faith is a set of beliefs, knowledge actions that these parents all practice. They are not just interested in how parents raise christian children they are doing it. The practice in question is readily identifiable.

Uff, thank you for helping me learn.
 


For me a worrying area is when people call a class of learners a CoP and say that learning is the practice. 
That is really too large and amorphous to be one practice. A class of students learning accounting by engaging in scenarios as practitioners, possibly with real practitioners in the class as mentors is beginning to take on a CoP approach.

According to what you state this course is not a community of practice of online facilitators. We're going there. I agree.

 

For me the dynamicism of CoPs and the difference between them and other groups lies is a distinction made by John Seely Brown.
 

Seely Brown (2002)  effectively exploits a Bruner analogy to unpack the concepts of practice and knowledge when he describes the differences between learning physics and being a physicist.  "Learning to be a physicist (as opposed to learning about physics) requires cutting a column down the middle of the diagram, looking at the deep interplay between the tacit and explicit. That's where deep expertise lies. Acquiring this expertise requires learning the explicit knowledge of a field, the practices of its community, and the interplay between the two."  (Brown, 2002, p. 20)

Brown, J. S. (2002). Growing up digital: How the web changes work, education, and the ways people learn. USDLA Journal, 16(2), 15-28.



What do you think?

I agree.  But that is difficult to put into practice. At least in here (Chile).  Traditional undergraduate programs are heavily based into theory.  For example, I studied 5 years to be a teacher of English.  Only in the fifth year I went to a school to practice the "teaching skills" I had acquired during my 5 years of study. Lucky for me, I had started working as a teacher when I was in third year, but even so I had some problems. Learning about teaching is NOTHING like teaching.

Violeta.
 

Barbara Dieu

unread,
Aug 11, 2008, 9:21:50 AM8/11/08
to facilitating-on...@googlegroups.com
Hello,
Hope you do not mind me  jumping into the discussion a bit late. Not sure whether this was discussed or not. I have just joined and have been reading the previous posts (have not yet got to the blogs).


> In Wenger's model the community of practice has three interrelated components; domain, community and practice.

If this is the case, to define all other types of community, just change the 3rd component. Please correct me if wrong and forgive me for simplifying it.

a) domain + community + interest = community of interest  = Eg. supporters of Corinthians football team = gather to see the games, follow and discuss games on TV,  behave in a certain way,  write about it (but do not play the game itself)

b) domain + community + learning = community of learning = Eg. a group of people discussing different books over a period of time = learning about sthg together and discussing it  (but not writing the book)

c) domain + community + practice  = Eg.  facilitating online interaction  = learning about it + discussing it together + being and becoming facilitators ( practice it together and on others)

Now, if community is the concept that permeates all three, what are the traits that make it similar to/different from a group or network?

Warm regards from Brazil,
Bee

--
Barbara Dieu
http://dekita.org
http://beespace.net

Sylvia Currie

unread,
Aug 11, 2008, 10:39:10 AM8/11/08
to facilitating-on...@googlegroups.com
Bee's overview makes sense to me. Some communities clearly fall into one of these categories, and it seems that often communities evolve from interest -- to learning -- to practice. I wonder, is this a developmental model? Does a community start out as a CoP, or does it become one after working through certain stages?

Sylvia
http://blog.webbedfeat.com

vcautin

unread,
Aug 11, 2008, 12:44:19 PM8/11/08
to facilitating-on...@googlegroups.com
Hi Bee!
I'm really happy you joined this course as well.


Now, if community is the concept that permeates all three, what are the traits that make it similar to/different from a group or network?

That is part of the question that we have to answer this week.
One of the answers that I personally found relevant is this one:
http://servant02.wordpress.com/2008/08/04/on-communities-virtual-learning-communities/

Here the author differentiates a community from networks,  groups and teams by the degree of identification and belonging.  I interpret from the model that a community is much more bound together. 
He describes three important features in community members: responsibility, sharing and  celebration.
 
Regards, Violeta.

2008/8/11 Barbara Dieu <beeo...@gmail.com>

Barbara Dieu

unread,
Aug 11, 2008, 2:25:27 PM8/11/08
to facilitating-on...@googlegroups.com
> Does a community start out as a CoP, or does it become one after working through certain stages?

Hi Sylvia..good question...and enjoyed how you summed up the course and process of going about it on your blog - most useful for parachuters who have just landed - still trying to fit into the rhythm and context.

and thanks for the warm welcome and the tip, Violeta...   I will check it out and also try to follow the order of the discussions and readings and weave all this into my own experience and questions :-)

Warm regards,

Bronh

unread,
Aug 11, 2008, 8:29:00 PM8/11/08
to Facilitating Online Communities
Violeta
I really like the post you have shared with us about Virtual
Communities. I particularly relate to the following statement:
"Communities are responsible for their own life and functioning.
Responsibility is not left upon the coordinator, facilitator,
moderator or any one single individual to control. Instead, everyone
monitors the way the community lives its spirit;

On Aug 12, 4:44 am, vcautin <violeta.cau...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi Bee!
> I'm really happy you joined this course as well.
>
> Now, if community is the concept that permeates all three, what are the
> traits that make it similar to/different from a group or network?
>
> That is part of the question that we have to answer this week.
> One of the answers that I personally found relevant is this one:http://servant02.wordpress.com/2008/08/04/on-communities-virtual-lear...
>
> Here the author differentiates a community from networks, groups and teams
> by the degree of identification and belonging. I interpret from the model
> that a community is much more bound together.
> He describes three important features in community members: responsibility,
> sharing and celebration.
>
> Regards, Violeta.
>
> 2008/8/11 Barbara Dieu <beeonl...@gmail.com>
>
>
>
> > Hello,
> > Hope you do not mind me jumping into the discussion a bit late. Not sure
> > whether this was discussed or not. I have just joined and have been reading
> > the previous posts (have not yet got to the blogs).
>
> > > In Wenger's model the community of practice has three interrelated
> > components; *domain, community *and *practice*.

Joao Alves

unread,
Aug 12, 2008, 4:07:24 AM8/12/08
to facilitating-on...@googlegroups.com
Thank you for clarifying my initial doubt about the difference between an online community and a community of practice. I particularly found the link that Violeta mentioned to Greg's blog very clear. Greg's post differentiating communities, groups, teams and networks is very helpful to understand the differences among them.

This thread seems to be a good example of an online community. What do you think?

I very much thank you all.
Joao

P.S. Leaving right now for a few days holiday. Will get in touch with you soon.



2008/8/12 Bronh <bronwyn...@gmail.com>

Derek Chirnside

unread,
Aug 12, 2008, 5:08:10 AM8/12/08
to facilitating-on...@googlegroups.com


2008/8/12 Joao Alves <j.al...@gmail.com>

Thank you for clarifying my initial doubt about the difference between an online community and a community of practice. I particularly found the link that Violeta mentioned to Greg's blog very clear. Greg's post differentiating communities, groups, teams and networks is very helpful to understand the differences among them.

This thread seems to be a good example of an online community. What do you think?

I very much thank you all.
Joao

P.S. Leaving right now for a few days holiday. Will get in touch with you soon.


Joao, some community like behaviour I guess.
I'll be on the road for a few days now as well.
40 members of a choir, band and rock group.
I will pass through Dunedin and if I can sneak away from the kids I will visit Leigh.

-Derek

Barbara Dieu

unread,
Aug 12, 2008, 7:53:47 AM8/12/08
to facilitating-on...@googlegroups.com
Hi Pedro,
Share the same feeling :-)
Long time no see.

alexanderhayes

unread,
Aug 12, 2008, 8:55:28 AM8/12/08
to Facilitating Online Communities
Great post Bron.

I havent been skiing but the snow is just as cold up this way.

I like the distinctions your making in this 1980's threaded discussion
form about not needing to make distinctions as such.

Interest may be as engaged as someone attaining a PHd in the area.

Interest and practice....a 'practising' artist......someone who does
and creates not someone who aspires and expires.

More often than not I find people who have a spectators view often
have the most profound "awareness" of its place in life....they can
reach high's simply by including something in their frame of reference
without any needs to master it or needing a certificate to prove their
inclusion or supposed attained exclusiveness.

To define what that it is lets us breath a little.....we get so bogged
down in the definitives.

Cults are made of distinctions of difference.

Likewise, COPs always struck me as a politically motivated manifest
within which the battle to diffuse or re-invent the commitee - the
society - the guild - the lengthy pointless conversations where the
majority of those with motivation used the butchers paper and the bad
sandwiches to outmanouvre each other in a tug of war between the fact
of union and the fiction of retort.

Ok....that was one bad example but I've been to plenty of great COP
parties too :)

I reckon that domain, community and practice are not just related
areas of demarcation to create a whole acronym rather aspects of an
inter-related whole just as behaviour is not seperate to a humans
endeavour to manipulate inclusion.

In laymans terms, lets interogate the notion of community and aspire
to engage others online whilst steering clear of the lovefest
language.

'Lest we all expire and find other acronyms to define the dead white
philosophers we aspire to juxtapose.

What you wrote made perfect sense.





On Aug 11, 12:23 pm, "Bronwyn Stuckey" <bronwyn.stuc...@gmail.com>
wrote:
> Hi everyone,
>
> In Wenger's model the community of practice has three interrelated
> components; *domain, community *and *practice*.
> So he sees community as a part but not the whole, not all that holds to
> group together. I agree with this. Whether a group is a CoP or not really
> depends on the practice. For instance, I am fascinated by forensic science
> and I love to partake of discussions about it - but I do not work in the
> field nor ever aspire to, I do not practice it. I have an interest and could
> talk about the science of it from a spectators view. But a CoP for forensic
> scientists is made up of thise who practice it and would want to share
> knoweldge gained from within their practice not just knowledge of it.
>
> To be a CoP you need to be readily able to identify the practice. I think
> this FOC08 group is on its way to being, even if only temporary (17 weeks),
> a CoP. Facilitation in online communities is our practice and we are all at
> various stages of our development of that practice - we do all aspire to
> practice it.
>
> So to me community exists as a component of many kinds of groups - learning
> communities, CoP, communities of interest, online communities, etc etc etc
> and the notion of community is both the same and a little different in each.
> Does that make sense?
>
> ~ Bron
>
> On Mon, Aug 11, 2008 at 8:13 AM, Leigh Blackall <leighblack...@gmail.com>wrote:
>
> > Hello everyone,
>
> > I'm back from a weekend of skiing :) (Photos<http://flickr.com/photos/leighblackall/tags/foxpeak/>
> > )
>
> > Joao Alves:
>
> > Our assignment is to post our thoughts to the blog about an online
>
> > community. In Wenger's text "Communities of Practice - Learning as a
> >> Social System" he writes about communities of practice. Are
> >> communities of practice and online communities exactly the same thing?
>
> > Mike Bogle:
> >> I think the broader notion of CoP is inclusive and applies to all
> >> locations where they might exist; online communities are more specific
> >> relatively speaking and refer to a medium as well.
>
> > Gabriela Sellart
> >> I think CoP have a learning objective. Maybe that's the difference.
>
> > Derek Chirnside:
> >> Not all communities have some attributes that a community of practice has.
> >> Blonging, identity, learning, roles, a practice, glue, rhythms, nurture.
> >> Most of these (I think) need to be present.
> >> They may or may not be there in a little online community that meets up as
> >> fans of a music group (no practice) for example.
>
> > I too wonder if there is a difference between an online community and a
> > community of practice. Looking at the words alone (and considering what I
> > know about Wenger) there are small differences..
>
> > Wenger does not limit his considerations to communities *online*
>
> > We are not limiting our considerations to *practice*
>
> > So, what are the aspects of Wenger's paper that focus in on community? How
> > do the other readings in the wiki help us expand on our understanding of
> > online community?
>
> > On Mon, Aug 11, 2008 at 7:44 AM, Mike Bogle <michael.s.bo...@gmail.com>wrote:
>
> >> Not necessarily, I think. I think the broader notion of CoP is inclusive
> >> and applies to all locations where they might exist; online communities are
> >> more specific relatively speaking and refer to a medium as well.
>
> >> Certainly the nature of the online community is worth considering as
> >> well. For example, Wenger indicates
>
> >> "A community of practice defines itself along three dimensions:
>
> >> - *What it is about* – its *joint enterprise* as understood and
> >> continually renegotiated by its members
> >> - *How it functions* -* **mutual engagement* that bind members
> >> together into a social entity
> >> - *What capability it has produced* – the *shared repertoire* of
> >> communal resources (routines, sensibilities, artifacts, vocabulary, styles,
> >> etc.) that members have developed over time."
>
> >> It would seem conceivable that a community (in fact any community - not
> >> just online), is not necessarily a community of practice either.
>
> >> I'd love to explore and expand on this but am running late for work! Will
> >> try to pick this up later this morning :)
>
> >> Cheers,
>
> >> Mike Bogle
> >> Em: michael.s.bo...@gmail.com
> >> Blog:http://techticker.net
> >> SL: Zapp Aeon
>

alexanderhayes

unread,
Aug 12, 2008, 8:58:40 AM8/12/08
to Facilitating Online Communities
An intriguing use of Moodle.

On Aug 11, 12:52 pm, "NELLIE DEUTSCH"
<nellie.muller.deut...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Thank you for clarifying the differences between CoPs and online
> communities.
>
> Nelliehttp://nelliemuller.blogspot.com/
>
> On Sun, Aug 10, 2008 at 7:23 PM, Bronwyn Stuckey
> <bronwyn.stuc...@gmail.com>wrote:
>
>
>
> > Hi everyone,
>
> > In Wenger's model the community of practice has three interrelated
> > components; *domain, community *and *practice*.
> > So he sees community as a part but not the whole, not all that holds to
> > group together. I agree with this. Whether a group is a CoP or not really
> > depends on the practice. For instance, I am fascinated by forensic science
> > and I love to partake of discussions about it - but I do not work in the
> > field nor ever aspire to, I do not practice it. I have an interest and could
> > talk about the science of it from a spectators view. But a CoP for forensic
> > scientists is made up of thise who practice it and would want to share
> > knoweldge gained from within their practice not just knowledge of it.
>
> > To be a CoP you need to be readily able to identify the practice. I think
> > this FOC08 group is on its way to being, even if only temporary (17 weeks),
> > a CoP. Facilitation in online communities is our practice and we are all at
> > various stages of our development of that practice - we do all aspire to
> > practice it.
>
> > So to me community exists as a component of many kinds of groups - learning
> > communities, CoP, communities of interest, online communities, etc etc etc
> > and the notion of community is both the same and a little different in each.
> > Does that make sense?
>
> > ~ Bron
>
> > On Mon, Aug 11, 2008 at 8:13 AM, Leigh Blackall <leighblack...@gmail.com>wrote:
>
> >> Hello everyone,
>
> >> I'm back from a weekend of skiing :) (Photos<http://flickr.com/photos/leighblackall/tags/foxpeak/>
> >> )
>
> >> Joao Alves:
>
> >> Our assignment is to post our thoughts to the blog about an online
>
> >> community. In Wenger's text "Communities of Practice - Learning as a
> >>> Social System" he writes about communities of practice. Are
> >>> communities of practice and online communities exactly the same thing?
>
> >> Mike Bogle:
> >>> I think the broader notion of CoP is inclusive and applies to all
> >>> locations where they might exist; online communities are more specific
> >>> relatively speaking and refer to a medium as well.
>
> >> Gabriela Sellart
> >>> I think CoP have a learning objective. Maybe that's the difference.
>
> >> Derek Chirnside:
> >>> Not all communities have some attributes that a community of practice
> >>> has. Blonging, identity, learning, roles, a practice, glue, rhythms,
> >>> nurture.
> >>> Most of these (I think) need to be present.
> >>> They may or may not be there in a little online community that meets up
> >>> as fans of a music group (no practice) for example.
>
> >> I too wonder if there is a difference between an online community and a
> >> community of practice. Looking at the words alone (and considering what I
> >> know about Wenger) there are small differences..
>
> >> Wenger does not limit his considerations to communities *online*
>
> >> We are not limiting our considerations to *practice*
>
> >> So, what are the aspects of Wenger's paper that focus in on community? How
> >> do the other readings in the wiki help us expand on our understanding of
> >> online community?
>
> >> On Mon, Aug 11, 2008 at 7:44 AM, Mike Bogle <michael.s.bo...@gmail.com>wrote:
>
> >>> Not necessarily, I think. I think the broader notion of CoP is inclusive
> >>> and applies to all locations where they might exist; online communities are
> >>> more specific relatively speaking and refer to a medium as well.
>
> >>> Certainly the nature of the online community is worth considering as
> >>> well. For example, Wenger indicates
>
> >>> "A community of practice defines itself along three dimensions:
>
> >>> - *What it is about* – its *joint enterprise* as understood and
> >>> continually renegotiated by its members
> >>> - *How it functions* -* **mutual engagement* that bind members
> >>> together into a social entity
> >>> - *What capability it has produced* – the *shared repertoire* of
> >>> communal resources (routines, sensibilities, artifacts, vocabulary, styles,
> >>> etc.) that members have developed over time."
>
> >>> It would seem conceivable that a community (in fact any community - not
> >>> just online), is not necessarily a community of practice either.
>
> >>> I'd love to explore and expand on this but am running late for work! Will
> >>> try to pick this up later this morning :)
>
> >>> Cheers,
>
> >>> Mike Bogle
> >>> Em: michael.s.bo...@gmail.com
> >>> Blog:http://techticker.net
> >>> SL: Zapp Aeon
>
> >>> On Mon, Aug 11, 2008 at 4:54 AM, Joao Alves <j.alve...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> >>>> Our assignment is to post our thoughts to the blog about an online
> >>>> community. In Wenger's text "Communities of Practice - Learning as a
> >>>> Social System" he writes about communities of practice. Are
> >>>> communities of practice and online communities exactly the same thing?
>
> >> --
> >> --
> >> Leigh Blackall
> >> +64(0)21736539
> >> skype - leigh_blackall
> >> SL - Leroy Goalpost
> >>http://learnonline.wordpress.com
>
> --
> Nellie Deutsch
> Doctoral Student
> Educational Leadership
> Curriculum and Instructionhttp://www.nelliemuller.comhttp://www.integrating-technology.com/pdhttp://www.building-relationship.com/educationhttp://blendedlear.ning.com

Leigh Blackall

unread,
Aug 12, 2008, 5:32:18 PM8/12/08
to facilitating-on...@googlegroups.com
I like where Bronwyn and Alex are taking this... questioning the use of the word "community" it Wenger's Community of Practice. Before I encountered CoP I always considered a community to include people of all generations, children, parents, grandparents, elders, guests, etc. And I always considered a group of people gathered for professional and practical reasons to be an association, a guild (as Alex suggests), a club. If we were to go back to a traditional understanding of community and ignore for a moment what Wenger has brought to the word, how might we think of an online community differently? Would it be different if we had children and teenagers in the community for example? In this sense, how many of us have really been a part of an online community? Well, I know Minhaaj has.

Unfortunately I have not found much in the way if media and readings to support this idea of 'traditional' community. The Wikipedia entry for community seems to accept that a community is very broad in meaning these days. But the challenge is still there, raised by Bronwyn and Alex..

Bronwyn Stuckey

unread,
Aug 12, 2008, 5:55:40 PM8/12/08
to facilitating-on...@googlegroups.com
In 1955 the sociologist Hillery tried to find the common definitional components of community. In 94 definitions he could find only one common agreed component - people. He did find in 69 of those definitions that there was commonly people, common ties, social interaction and place. His simple set of components still held true when reviewed by subsequent researchers and commentators  (Hamman, 2000; Poplin, 1979) many years later.

I used these four components in my research into the attributes of community in Internet-mediated communities of practice (IMCoPs). I distinguished the IMCoP from what it call "online community" or "virtual community" because the technology is a connecting strand or mediating influence in the life of the community but may not be the only way of connecting people.
Having researched a  further 25 redefinitions of community I concluded that Hillery's 4 simple components over time and technology are still key to community.

You can read more about this on my Community Capers blog //communitycapers.wordpress.com/ where I have begin presenting my case studies.  You can see the attributes of each of these four components in the respective pages on the Community Capers blog (remember this is about community within IMCoPs)
  1. People -  http://communitycapers.wordpress.com/imcop-people/
  2. Common ties - http://communitycapers.wordpress.com/common-ties/
  3. Social interaction - http://communitycapers.wordpress.com/social-interaction/
  4. Place - http://communitycapers.wordpress.com/place/
A few good references...


Hamman, R. (2001a). Online community members are real people, too: Focus on users [Electronic Version]. Retrieved 03/03/05 from http://www.infonortics.com/vc/vc01/slides/hamman.pdf.

Hamman, R. B. (2000). Computer networks linking network communities: A study of the effects of computer network use upon pre-existing communities [Electronic Version]. Retrieved 18/04/04 from http://www.socio.demon.co.uk/mphil/short.html.

Hamman, R. B. (2001b). Computer networks linking network communities. In C. W. M. Mowbray (Ed.), Online Communities (pp. 71-96). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Hillery, G. (1955). Definitions of community: areas of agreement. Rural Sociology, 20, 111-123.

Poplin, D. E. (1979). Communities: a survey of theories and methods of research (2nd ed.). New York: MacMillan.

~ Bron

Leigh Blackall

unread,
Aug 12, 2008, 6:09:52 PM8/12/08
to facilitating-on...@googlegroups.com
But Bronwyn, this only serves to reinforce the idea that a CoP is a community.. what about the children, the grand parents, the pets and the playgrounds? How is a CoP different from an association or club? In the course wiki, the challenge was laid in the opening text:

Most people use the phrase "online community" very loosely. You will hear educationalists use it to refer to communities of practice, classes, groups, professional bodies, teams, networks, you name it - they have all been referred to as communities at some stage, and when they prodimantly operate through the Internet they are called online communities. But what is an online community really - especially if we want to relate the words to their true and common meaning? Is it a group of people who communicate online, and through that connection they share a sense of belonging and responsibility for one another? Is an online community like this necessary for work teams, classes, professional bodies and all those other things that have been called communities? In this course we will be looking for online communities in very different places. It is important that we try and develop an understanding of what exactly we are looking for, and techniques for looking. What is an online community?

But most people seem happy to go with today's status quo of CoP. I think we can dig deeper... or scratch the itch and uncover some controversy

Bronwyn Stuckey

unread,
Aug 12, 2008, 6:51:16 PM8/12/08
to facilitating-on...@googlegroups.com
Yes Leigh a CoP is a community. Stating that does not deny that fan
clubs are communities, religious groups are communities, white
supremacists are in communities. All of these things can be communities
online. A CoP is only one form of community. CoP should never be
considered the "status quo" as you say - it is one particular type of
community.

But not all groups are communities. A team, a class or a task force
forms for a specific purpose and will likely disband at the end of that
task. it is focused around a task rather than a practice. The team,
class or task force could become a community but it does not have to be
to. Quite often groups like ours here that have formed for a specific
activity will go on to become a community when people realise how much
they had and want to maintain it. But that is not always the case. We
have all been part of a team that we were glad when the need to be
together ended ;-)

How are CoPs different to guilds and associations - I don't think they
are. The difference in terminology is that guilds and associations make
me think of formal organisations or groups. CoPs can be associated with
and as formal organisations but do not have to be. So are guilds and
associations CoPs yes in most cases - are all CoPs associations and
guilds - no.

Does this babbling of mine help or muddy the water more???

Bron


Leigh Blackall wrote:
> But Bronwyn, this only serves to reinforce the idea that a CoP is a
> community.. what about the children, the grand parents, the pets and
> the playgrounds? How is a CoP different from an association or club?
> In the course wiki, the challenge was laid in the opening text:
>
> /Most people use the phrase "online community" very loosely. You
> will hear educationalists use it to refer to communities of
> practice, classes, groups, professional bodies, teams, networks,
> you name it - they have all been referred to as communities at
> some stage, and when they prodimantly operate through the Internet
> they are called online communities. But what is an online
> community really - especially if we want to relate the words to
> their true and common meaning? Is it a group of people who
> communicate online, and through that connection they share a sense
> of belonging and responsibility for one another? Is an online
> community like this necessary for work teams, classes,
> professional bodies and all those other things that have been
> called communities? In this course we will be looking for online
> communities in very different places. It is important that we try
> and develop an understanding of what exactly we are looking for,
> and techniques for looking. What is an online community?/
>
>
> But most people seem happy to go with today's status quo of CoP. I
> think we can dig deeper... or scratch the itch and uncover some
> controversy
>
>
> On Wed, Aug 13, 2008 at 9:55 AM, Bronwyn Stuckey
> <bstu...@intraceptives.com.au <mailto:bstu...@intraceptives.com.au>>
> wrote:
>
> In 1955 the sociologist Hillery tried to find the common
> definitional components of community. In 94 definitions he could
> find only one common agreed component - /people/. He did find in
> 69 of those definitions that there was commonly /people/, /common
> ties/, /social interaction /and /place/. His simple set of
> components still held true when reviewed by subsequent researchers
> and commentators (Hamman, 2000; Poplin, 1979) many years later.
>
> I used these four components in my research into the attributes of
> community in Internet-mediated communities of practice (IMCoPs). I
> distinguished the IMCoP from what it call "online community" or
> "virtual community" because the technology is a connecting strand
> or mediating influence in the life of the community but may not be
> the only way of connecting people.
> Having researched a further 25 redefinitions of community I
> concluded that Hillery's 4 simple components over time and
> technology are still key to community.
>
> You can read more about this on my Community Capers blog
> //communitycapers.wordpress.com/
> <http://communitycapers.wordpress.com/> where I have begin
> presenting my case studies. You can see the attributes of each of
> these four components in the respective pages on the Community
> Capers blog (remember this is about community within IMCoPs)
>
> 1. People - http://communitycapers.wordpress.com/imcop-people/
> 2. Common ties - http://communitycapers.wordpress.com/common-ties/
> 3. Social interaction -
> http://communitycapers.wordpress.com/social-interaction/
> 4. Place - http://communitycapers.wordpress.com/place/
>
> A few good references...
>
>
> Hamman, R. (2001a). Online community members are real people, too:
> Focus on users [Electronic Version]. Retrieved 03/03/05 from
> http://www.infonortics.com/vc/vc01/slides/hamman.pdf.
>
> Hamman, R. B. (2000). Computer networks linking network
> communities: A study of the effects of computer network use upon
> pre-existing communities [Electronic Version]. Retrieved 18/04/04
> from http://www.socio.demon.co.uk/mphil/short.html.
>
> Hamman, R. B. (2001b). Computer networks linking network
> communities. In C. W. M. Mowbray (Ed.), /Online Communities /(pp.
> 71-96). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
>
> Hillery, G. (1955). Definitions of community: areas of agreement.
> /Rural Sociology, 20/, 111-123.
>
> Poplin, D. E. (1979). /Communities: a survey of theories and
> methods of research/ (2nd ed.). New York: MacMillan.
>
> ~ Bron
>
>
> Leigh Blackall wrote:
>> I like where Bronwyn and Alex are taking this... questioning the
>> use of the word "community" it Wenger's Community of Practice.
>> Before I encountered CoP I always considered a community to
>> include people of all generations, children, parents,
>> grandparents, elders, guests, etc. And I always considered a
>> group of people gathered for professional and practical reasons
>> to be an association, a guild (as Alex suggests), a club. If we
>> were to go back to a traditional understanding of community and
>> ignore for a moment what Wenger has brought to the word, how
>> might we think of an online community differently? Would it be
>> different if we had children and teenagers in the community for
>> example? In this sense, how many of us have really been a part of
>> an online community? Well, I know Minhaaj has
>> <http://minhaaj.blogspot.com/2008/08/meaning-of-online-community.html>.
>>
>>
>> Unfortunately I have not found much in the way if media and
>> readings to support this idea of 'traditional' community. The
>> Wikipedia entry for community
>> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community> seems to accept that a
>> community is very broad in meaning these days. But the challenge
>> is still there, raised by Bronwyn and Alex..
>>
>> On Wed, Aug 13, 2008 at 12:58 AM, alexanderhayes
>> <alexander...@gmail.com
>> <mailto:alexander...@gmail.com>> wrote:
>>
>>
>> An intriguing use of Moodle.
>>
>> On Aug 11, 12:52 pm, "NELLIE DEUTSCH"
>> <nellie.muller.deut...@gmail.com
>> <mailto:nellie.muller.deut...@gmail.com>> wrote:
>> > Thank you for clarifying the differences between CoPs and
>> online
>> > communities.
>> >
>> > Nelliehttp://nelliemuller.blogspot.com/
>> <http://nelliemuller.blogspot.com/>
>> >
>> > On Sun, Aug 10, 2008 at 7:23 PM, Bronwyn Stuckey
>> > <bronwyn.stuc...@gmail.com
>> <mailto:bronwyn.stuc...@gmail.com>>wrote:
>> <leighblack...@gmail.com <mailto:leighblack...@gmail.com>>wrote:
>> <mailto:michael.s.bo...@gmail.com>>wrote:
>> <mailto:michael.s.bo...@gmail.com>

Leigh Blackall

unread,
Aug 12, 2008, 7:04:24 PM8/12/08
to facilitating-on...@googlegroups.com
Ok Bron, a CoP is a community. Hopefully Alex will come back soon and join me in my attempts to take the discussion beyond CoP and into what is a community - really. IMHO Minhaaj's post goes closer than any of us have with the question.

vcautin

unread,
Aug 12, 2008, 8:40:26 PM8/12/08
to facilitating-on...@googlegroups.com
Leigh,
What I understand from that is that you associate the community with the emotional component, the support, the nuturing that they bring to their members ¿? Am I closer?

2008/8/12 Leigh Blackall <leighb...@gmail.com>

vcautin

unread,
Aug 12, 2008, 8:45:24 PM8/12/08
to facilitating-on...@googlegroups.com
Well Bronwyn, that was Greg's post. But I agree with the idea that community members are responsible for the live of the community.  I do think leadership will arise sooner or later either we want it or not.

I'm going to your blogpost now to see what you wrote about that.

2008/8/11 Bronh <bronwyn...@gmail.com>

Leigh Blackall

unread,
Aug 12, 2008, 9:19:03 PM8/12/08
to facilitating-on...@googlegroups.com
Hello Violeta, I am breaking my facilitation role by getting involved in the discussion rather than trying to move it along.. it is difficult not to when it is a subject matter you know something about. Some of the best facilitation I have seen is by people who know nothing about the topic. So please consider these last few emails from me as more participation rather than my efforts of facilitation, I sincerely hope I am not compromising my role in the long term here... more on this next week ;)

V wrote:
What I understand from that is that you associate the community with the emotional component, the support, the nurturing that they bring to their members ¿? Am I closer?

I'm not sure. I think what I am getting at certainly carries that with it, but I am more trying to bring the word community back to its basic concept and away from community of practice (CoP) - which I think is a worthwhile thing, but an extension of word community rather than the meaning of it. I think if we can focus on examples of community (rather than examples of CoP) than we should start finding elements in those examples that we base our considerations on in the coming weeks. If we were to focus too much on CoP, I fear we will then start looking for CoP for the rest of the course. We are looking for communities online, of which CoP might be only one type, and perhaps a type that too many of us are familiar with and unwilling to unlearn.

Minhaaj's post talks about an experience with the Linux community, and his interactions with a particular member of that community through his teenage years. I think he posits the idea that interaction across generations might be one of many unique elements in the sense of community the the Linux user have. The element could be significantly different to a CoP or association or club that we have so far discussed. Minhaaj then goes on to point out something possibly overlooked in the consideration of communities online - the numerous instances where prejudices normal in face to face communities, are transcended online. This might be something unique about online communities - the idea that age, race, gender, religion, sexuality, while known about by the members, may not be a big consideration in their community.

Other examples where this can be seen:
Linux community
Wikipedia community
World of Warcraft and other online gaming community
Second Life community

I think Minhaaj's post, and Alex's emails, start to take us into new territory worth thinking about for the duration of this course...

Amy Lenzo

unread,
Aug 12, 2008, 11:03:14 PM8/12/08
to facilitating-on...@googlegroups.com
Leigh,

I love where your train of thought (looking at “community” beyond the “community of practice” model) is going... And I appreciate your piping in – personally I don’t subscribe to the notion of a good facilitator being “outside” the conversation – and besides, your perspective is too valuable to miss out on!

Your point about online communities potential for transcending age and race and gender is important, but I don’t think these conditions are specific to online community as differentiated from communities of practice, where they may also apply. Interacting online sets up that potential for transcendence in itself.

Actually, I think Violeta is on to something when she brings up the quality of “care” we have for each other in a community. That IS a differentiating factor, and what starts to tilt the balance towards community, even in a community of practice. If I were in a totally “safe” environment I might go so far as to say true communities have something of a shared “communion” about them.  

I’ve been enjoying thinking and blogging about these questions, and I’ve posted an interesting “online community” image on Flickr that shows some of the range of online communities - some of you might want to check it out.

Amy


...o0o...
Amy Lenzo
a...@beautydialogues.com
FOC08 Blog: http://allislight.typepad.com/facilitating_online_commu/





Leigh Blackall8/12/08 6:19 PM

Daryl Cook

unread,
Aug 13, 2008, 12:33:24 AM8/13/08