Communities of Practice Online (CoPo)

Communities of Practice Online (CoPo)

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Quotes from Marlene Manto - Flexible Learning Leader 2000

Torrens Valley Institute - Adelaide

Marlene has a great website on Communities of Practice titled 'On the Road to Community. The url is
In her website Marlene lists six important factors -
- indentity
- ownership
- need
- whole person
- sense of belonging
- value

During our meeting Marlene discussed the following -

- you cannot make a CoP. It has life of its own
- start as a network and it MIGHT turn into a CoP
- start small 6 - 12 people. If too many participants split into two groups
- true CoPs do NOT need a mentor, rather volunteers
- important to look at the positives that using the network would enable people to meet/network who otherwise would not have had the opportunity
- creating trust is important.
- people will make time for a CoP if they think it deserves priority
- most CoPs have a lifespan of approximately 2 years then they require revamping
- personal gain important, the participants must know whats in it for them
- good idea to include games to make it fun
- personalise the site include local icons, logos, pictures etc
- include personal stories
- host an online event
- make it a 'SAFE and COMFORTABLE' place

Marlene has an interesting anology for CoPo's of 'think of creating a CoPo as trying to encourage a romance'.
You may want to encourage a relationship between a work colleague and a neighbour. You may think they will be perfect for each other but you cannot make them fall in love.
You can 'create a situation where if is is likely to happen it will'. You can do this by inviting them over, having nice music playing, candles, good conversation etc.


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