Communities – Are they really practical?

Community of Practice – you may wonder what it is exactly, but from the way I understand it is one of the most visible concepts which make up exactly what communities are. My idea of a community of practice is one where everyone shares similar interests and concerns and seeks to make a difference through this idea. A community of practice is a lot different to that of just a random group of people, primarily because a collective community share a common goal and look to make a difference and share ideas and beliefs, in which makes the space diverse and intriguing.

The identity has a respective role in a community of practice, where the idea of interest in the community itself is embedded within the identity through the beliefs, value and knowledge which is shared amongst the group. It also strengthens the relationship of the community, through the development of goals for what needs to be achieved as a collective and as well as what is wanted to be done.

The concept, community of practice can be affiliated and applied to the ‘living, learning and working on the web’ unit Facebook group where certain elements which are noted by Wegner-Trayner (2015) are evident.

I think that the Facebook group achieves the orients of a community of practice, where the group itself is designed to be a tool of learning. Further, tasks such as commenting on other student’s posts allow to share ideas and give feedback to other individuals which overall enhances the notion of interaction with one another and strengthens the ideas and concepts which are spoken about in the tasks. Dennen (2014) says that the task of blogging creates interaction between ‘the blogger’ and the audience with certain aspects developing trust which is key in forming relationships. This extends to the identity norms which are developed in sharing values and beliefs with one another.

The notion as a community of practice would be relevant in a similar comparison when the group assignment starts to come into discussion. This is evident through choosing a particular social issue to work on as a collective, ideally it is something which everyone is passionate about and thinks it is important to talk about it. The ‘practice’ as spoken about by Wegner-Trayner (2015) the way experiences are expressed and the tools which are used to do this effectively. This includes meeting up on campus and chatting online about how we can approach a particular issue and establishing key points in order to get the main elements across effectively.

I believe I am an active member of the Facebook group as I post my blog posts to try engage with other students and seek feedback and ideas on how I can make my future blogs better and more interactive for those reading it. I also like to do the same for other students and provide them with constructive feedback and share with them my ideas on the points that they write.


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