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Communities of Practice: Activities

Identify your community's goals

Successful and sustainable communities of practice have focused, well-defined purposes that are directly tied to both the College's mission and the priorities of the participants. Purposes need to be defined in terms of the benefits to stakeholders and the specific goals that the community is organized to meet.

Purposes can be categorized into four overarching areas of activities:

    Developing relationships
    Learning and developing practice
    Carrying out tasks and projects
    Creating new knowledge.

These activity areas create a framework and language for the community to use to understand and document success about achieving the purpose, meeting goals, responding to needs, and making decisions about future actions.

Design activities and processes to support your goals

It is through the sharing of information and experiences that members learn from each other, and have an opportunity to develop themselves personally and professionally.

The activities of the community need to create a predictable rhythm that sets an expectation around how and when to participate in the community. An integrated, thoughtful combination of face-to-face meetings, live online events, and collaboration over time creates a ‘sense of place’ in the minds of community members.

Sample questions to explore when designing activities:

  • Learning: What are the learning goals of the community, and how can collaborative learning be supported?
  • Activities: What kinds of activities will generate energy and support the emergence of community presence?
  • Rhythm: What will the community’s rhythm be?
  • Communication: How will members communicate on an ongoing basis to accomplish the community’s primary purpose?
  • Interactions: What kinds of interactions (with each other and with the content of the community) will generate energy and engagement?
  • Collaboration: How will community members collaborate with each other to achieve shared goals?
  • Knowledge sharing: What are the external resources (people, publications, reports, etc.) that will support the community during its initial development? How will members share these resources and gain access to them?

Develop a proposed schedule for the community

Sample Plan for One-year Community of Practice

Month Possible Activities

Identify research issues or questions to establish purpose of community.
Develop a detailed plan that includes activities, expected outcomes, timelines, reporting procedures and a budget.
Invite participants to the community of practice, collect signed letters of agreement
Designate a facilitator
Identify technology supports needed for community.
Develop a dedicated website for participants to access information, webinars and communicate with one another through monthly online meetings and a moderated blog


Confirm participants
Orientation—Schedule face-to-face session for late September, early October
Collect baseline data – Develop survey #1 and administer at orientation session (use data to inform planning for the year)

October Follow-up communication from orientation including schedule of webinars, results from survey and roll-up of data generated at orientation
November Webinar #1– Develop and distribute guide one week prior, post readings, deliver, and archive webinar and related PowerPoint
December Webinar #2 – Develop and distribute guide one week prior, post readings, deliver and archive webinar and related PowerPoint
January Webinar #3– Develop and distribute guide one week prior, post readings, deliver and archive webinar and related PowerPoint
February Webinar #4– Develop and distribute guide one week prior, post readings, deliver and archive webinar and related PowerPoint
March Follow-up communication from four webinars, blog posting on related topic and additional information and templates for success stories or final products that will be shared at upcoming wrap-up session

Wrap-up session
Collect success stories for sharing at wrap-up day
Develop and administer final survey


Report results to sponsor and other partners
Share results– Disseminate what was created and learned through website

Link to other learning opportunities

Identify any face-to-face meeting opportunities for community members and define how these will be incorporated into the community experience.

Encourage participants to share information about upcoming professional learning opportunities in their regions that might support the learning of the community.

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  • Last Updated: Oct 12, 2023 2:27 PM
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