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Creating virtual PD communities


Creating virtual PD communities

We’d like to introduce you to one of the new playing fields in any practice - virtual Professional Development communities. We'd like to introduce you to the landscape and provide a safe space to try out some skills and tools, while working out how you might participate meaningfully in such a community. You may want to then start, and foster, your own virtual community - and in this group we plan to share, discuss, and develop strategies to help you.

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Members: 13
Latest Activity: Sep 28, 2017

Growing, leading and measuring online Communities of Practice: Resources for the ASCILITE session

The purpose of this session is to introduce you to some of the concepts, principles, skills and attributes you will need to design and maintain an online community of learning. We are providing you with a real world problem to work with, and invite you to share and collaborate together as an impromptu community of learners.

This workshop is suitable for leaders of learning who are considering establishing online learning communities in their organisations. Some experience with social networking would be an advantage but not necessary.


  1. The scenario and task for this session:
  2. Nancy White's checklist for community building:


You can also access the papers relating to this session here:

 To access the diagram full size:

Discussion Forum

Comparing Different OLCoP Approaches

Started by Paul Keown. Last reply by Janey Nolan Sep 28, 2017. 9 Replies

Hi to others in this group interested in discussing different approaches to OLCoPs,I am starting this discussion following the recent posts in this group on Creating Virtual PD Communities. A number…Continue

Tags: Onlinecommunitiesofpractice

Resource: Online communities of practice

Started by Hazel Owen. Last reply by Hazel Owen Jul 17, 2013. 7 Replies

Some resources you may like to access are listed below. Please share your own resources in the forum…Continue

Tags: resources, checklist, Communities of Practice, CoPs, online communities of practice

Next steps and feedback

Started by Hazel Owen. Last reply by Hazel Owen Dec 4, 2012. 2 Replies

Thank you for participating in this session. We would like to ask you to provide us with your feedback,…Continue

Tags: checklist, Communities of Practice, CoPs, online communities of practice

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Comment by Paul Keown on February 9, 2017 at 13:12

Hi Tessa and Hazel - thanks to you both for your comments. Yes I think it is a good idea to discuss the differences between the kinds OLCoPs I have been involved with and those Tessa is facilitating in the VLN context. As a quick answer now which we can follow up later I think the focus and intensity provided by a specific timeframe, the provision of specific resources and tasks do make the communities a bit different. I well have more of a think about this and get back soon.

Comment by Paul Keown on February 9, 2017 at 13:03

Comment by Hazel Owen on February 8, 2017 at 23:25

Thanks Paul and Tessa for joining the group, and for your enthusiasm. Great to hear you have found the resources useful Tessa.

It was interesting following the links to the work you have both been doing around virtual communities. The community you facilitated and researched was based around 3 modules, and a finite timeframe because of that. Tessa, the VLN community is not structured around a specific set of modules, but rather around far-reaching topics.

I'd love to hear - what do you both feel would be the key similarities and differences in the facilitation of the two different communities?

Comment by Tessa Gray on February 3, 2017 at 11:06

Wow, great group and worthwhile resources being shared thanks Hazel, Paul and Zariah. I'm especially enjoying ideas for facilitating resource/discourse kind of interaction and participation with learners through blended methodologies. Nancy White's checklist is going to be sitting next to me as I review how we facilitate the Virtual Learning Network/Enabling e-Learning community space for teachers.

Comment by Paul Keown on February 2, 2017 at 15:16

Hi to all in this group. I'm really pleased to see a group on this topic here. I have been interested and involved in online communities of practice for a good length of time now.

In fact in 2009 and I completed a thesis entitled "A virtual community of practice approach to teacher professional development and learning" The thesis focusses on three rounds of online COPs I ran with geography and social studies teachers.

If anyone in the group wants to read more it is available at:

Comment by Zariah Gaelyn-Levai, MAE on March 27, 2013 at 2:34

My wife introduced me to this: I've signed up for courses. Coursera is great for both personal and professional development.


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