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WP0 - Co-ordination
WP1 - Synergy Specification
WP2 - Information services
WP3 - Knowledge Management Services
WP4 - Mediation Services
WP5 - Implementation
WP6 - Evaluation
WP7 - Dissemination
WP8 - Training
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However, despite the rapidly increasing potential offered by technologies (including web-based platforms, wireless communications, mobile devices and extensive use of multimedia contents), recent research underline the lack of adequate scaffolding in the form of both technical supports and usage of the technology to:
  1. Express, represent and share practices and authentic problems
    The elicitation and expression of practices, as recurrent rule-governed behaviour performed in a historical and social context and framed by knowledge resources (formal, explicit and technical, on the one hand, informal, tacit, social, cultural and discursive on the other), are heavily difficult tasks. Existing representation mechanisms and data types are often too poor to represent their complexity. Furthermore, existing multimedia tools currently require inhabiting knowledge in terms of technological skills or extensive learning about their use.
  2. Debate and reflect about the practices and about the life of the CoP
    CoPs have to address specific issues and solve poorly structured problems, over which a plurality of views holds. These communities have to exploit the diverse mental models, knowledge resources, skills and competences associated with each of their members in order to create and use problem-specific knowledge through the interaction of the different sources of codified and tacit specialist knowledge. They have also to reflect about the life of the CoP itself to represent and develop the bases of their identities: their domain, their practice, and their community itself. Existing, frequently used solutions (such as discussion lists and forums) are ineffective to mediate expression of interests, organise arguments and manage the reflection about the life of the community.
  3. Develop, reify and exploit knowledge inside and outside of the CoP
    In CoPs, learning and teaching activities are strongly interconnected with the management of knowledge resources. The learning process implies a series of activities where pieces of knowledge are organized and formalized in such a way that they can be easily transferred to other members of the community. In a living learning community, these processes are continuously occurring at individual and collective levels. However, learning and KM are often considered separately, which leads to potentially important losses of efficiency in the knowledge circulation and construction. For example, in the teaching domain, after some time of living, CoPs try often to create archive but lack of adequate tools and skills to create, use, validate and disseminate their knowledge bases.
  4. Facilitate engagement, participation and learning
    CoPs are recognized as effective learning environments for individuals and in particular for novices wishing to enter their new professional community and develop their expertise. However, people often lack the necessary technological and social support to engage themselves in such communities, participate in them and learn through their participation in them.
More specifically, conditions for engagement are related to individual skills in the use of technologies and opportunities to access and use these technologies in their usual work environment. Conditions for participation are associated to personal characteristics (such as time available for participation, self-esteem, representations of one’s competencies, etc.), participation support (such as animation and moderation of the community, rules for participation, framework given at the beginning to facilitate the exchanges between participants), feeling of security and trust. Finally, conditions for learning and professional development concern conceptions of learning, conceptions of changes, as well as conceptions of the community, facilitation techniques and scaffolding particularly to support novice movement to expertise, opportunities to reflect on the learning process, and the learning organisation (how does the work organisation supports learning and knowledge building). Having identified these conditions, very little is known about the technological and pedagogical supports which are necessary to create and maintain them in specific contexts.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 11 June 2008 )