Learning through Communities of Practice- A selection of tools

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Probably the notion of Community of Practice (CoP) has been one of the most used concepts in the domain of learning, training and knowledge sharing. While a lot of references are made to original articles of the founding father Etienne Wenger, through this article we would like to compile key essential resources which might be useful if you are going to design and develop a community. Being a focal point for high-level in-service training and providing related services focusing on the development of human resources, ITCILO has been actively working in the design and development of communities of practices focusing on sharing knowledge throughout international networks of practitioners.

Here below you find a list of resources in different format we created or compiled from other organizations and institutions.



Communities of Practice: Learning as a Social System

This quick info sheet is part of the Share, Learn, Innovate Toolkit developed for OHCHR focusing on the following quick questions: What is a community of practice? When to use it? What technology?




Communities of Practice: Linking Knowledge, Policy and Practice

This background note by S.Hearn and N. White provides background information regarding communities in the Web 2.0 era and provides a series of considerations with reference to creating communities within and across organizations.




Turning conversations into Collaboration

This presentation looks at the key ingredients, with particular emphasis on the role of the community facilitator for building trust and cooperation, enabling conversations to become active collaboration and co-production. See in particular, facilitation mechanisms, levels of engagement, community archetypes.

quick guides

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Cultivating Communities of Practice: A quick Start-up Guide

This visual inforgraphic developed by Etienne Wenger provides in a nutshell the key steps which are necessary to follow to design, build and maintain a community.





UNDP Communities of Practice Guide

By focusing on chapter 6 of this presentation you will capture the main steps for community development, including a practical example of a CoP action plan in a development institution.

UN Millennium Campaign – 2010 Review

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Visualizing with Infographics

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Information graphics are visual representations of information, data and knowledge. It is an ideal instrument to present or communicate complex information in a simple way. This makes it also a useful tool for learning and training. It quickly conveys knowledge and it engages viewers.

In comparison with the mindmapping technique the visual factor of infographics is more important. It includes usually visual elements such as signs, charts, maps, or diagrams that enhance comprehension of a given text-based content.

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Using backchannels in learning events

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DELTA is currently contributing to a learning event on South-South cooperation in Cartagena, Colombia. To explore new formats of organizing events we want to try out the backchannel. As the name suggests it’s an additional channel of communication which takes place in the background to the main channel which in the case of learning events is occupied by speakers or panels of experts  The backchannel is projected at a second screen next to the main screen where participants can send messages, comments, feedback or questions.

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