Communities of Practice Online (CoPo)

Communities of Practice Online (CoPo)

Monday, August 30, 2004

Quotes from Carole McCullough - FLL 2002

TAFE Frontiers - Melbourne

Carole has the task of overseeing 'The Source', a great CoP for practitioners in the VET sector in Victoria. The url is

Carole has listed the following as hints in developing a CoP
- creating a sense of ownership is imoprtant, use competitions, pictures, be specific
- trust is an important element so use log ins
- be careful of technological problems as you will lose participants
- target your audience - encourage a sense of belonging
- push the site initially - market, advertise, fortnightly email reminders, flyers, networks (use websites and email mailing lists)
- CoPs do have a life span. It is important to create a new model to reengage those who have left
- the site must be constantly involving
- training and ongoing support is important to the success of the CoP
- in the beginning 'The Source' focused on the website, now they are focusing on the forums
- role of the facilitator is critical. Make sure their role is clearly defined.
- a facilitator must 'weed out and prune' discussions.
- constant evaluation is critical in the success of a CoP. Can use statistics on how many postings, how many participants, how many topics and how many have accessed but not made postings.
It is important to evaluate the lurkers.

Carole lists the following as important techniques in setting up a discussion forum
1/ The heading must be relevant and eye catching
2/ Make the topic name specific
3/ The thread name needs to be creative and engaging
4/ The facilitator should make their postings eye catching - use bold, italic, smiley icons, colours etc


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