Choose a facilitator who can support both the face-to-face activities and the online presence of the community of practice. The facilitator’s role is one of consulting, connecting, facilitating, helping and guiding. Facilitators cultivate and sustain the community through:
reporting community of practice activity (through metrics and evaluations)
collecting and sharing evidence of participation and impact
managing community of practice events (including face-to-face meetings and live webinars).
The facilitator’s role is also one of a librarian or curator who collects, organizes, and shares data and collective knowledge throughout the lifespan of the community.
The facilitator could be a single person or two or more people could share responsibilities. For example, one person could focus on content and communication and the other on technology. Meeting the technology needs of the community typically means licensing a conferencing solution for webinars and online meetings and designing a collaboration space (such as a dedicated website or wiki) for participants to access information and resources, and communicate with one another.
Sample description for the role of facilitator
Develop invitation letter and coordinate recruitment and confirmation of participants
Coordinate design of collaborative workspace
Plan and facilitate face-to-face orientation and wrap-up sessions
Create pre- and post-surveys, and analyze and report results
Coordinate development and delivery of four webinars based on needs identified by the community
Coordinate communication with participants throughout the lifespan of community, including email notices for scheduled face-to-face sessions and webinars
Coordinate sharing of final success stories
Collect and share data throughout duration of project, including submission of final reporting outlining activities, results and legacy plans