Revisiting: How many people does it take to make a community of practice?

Last month I blogged about how I felt that I am often just a curator for a group of people rather than being in a community of practice. Having trialed a few different approaches I have seen an uptick in participation in the contributions to the community I manage.

INF532 has encouraged me to think about different ways that I might engage people to help develop a work-based learning network. A few techniques I have trialled:

  • changed up the tone of my posts focusing more on a narrative-based approach
  • tried to relate my posts to universal issues people face (not just work issues)
  • directly asked people if they can write about a topic
  • written posts of varying length
  • used a variety of mediums to engage people
  • Asked questions rather than just writing solutions

I am starting to get a lot more participation recently (4-5 responding people versus the normal 0-1). This is a positive improvement on people telling me that they “enjoy reading my posts”.

I have enjoyed trialing a variety of different approaches and although I am yet to get anywhere near the critical mass to call it a community of practice it is certainly evolving past simple curation.

The next step will be to try and move to more multi-media content such as microcontent, videos and potentially podcasts but this will require an investment from my work in the tools required. This could be a stumbling block as I wait for approvals but if I can implement these tools then potentially others can use them to create content as well.

2 thoughts on “Revisiting: How many people does it take to make a community of practice?

  1. I agree with the feeling of just being the curator with little engagement. I have been trying to use symbaloo as a space for our History classes. The expectation was that I would add resources for both the teachers and the students that relate to their Stage 6 content. I have been asking for feedback and for suggestions for other sources to add but not receiving much back yet. i think you are right that not everything will work with each group so its time to move onto another technique or combine some ideas together.

    1. Nice to hear I’m not alone Kelly! That is a nice idea to use Symbaloo, I had not heard of it before, thanks for sharing 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *