This page was last updated July 2010 when the HELP CETL project completed.
Communities of Practice
The HELP CETL aimed to inspire teaching and learning communities to research and reflect on their practice and to share & disseminate knowledge and experience as well as share resources, within the South West region and beyond. The HE in FE context within UPC involved working across a dispersed regional partnership and beyond. The aim was to facilitate the creation of dynamic and effective physical and virtual communities to enable greater communication and collaboration across physical and academic boundaries. Communities of Practice (CoPs) were supported to develop and or emerge from new and existing networks or groups.
It was hoped that the emerging CoPs would provide guidance, support and development opportunities to members, participants and others. One key type of emerging CoP, the UPC Subject Forums, were established by UPC following the University of Wisconsin Colleges model where colleagues come together across a regional HE partnership to take forward their subject based or focused agenda. The development of these forums was influenced by the work of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning, the University of Wisconsin’s ‘distributed teaching academy’ and the research of Schulman, Lave, Wenger and Huber among others. The CoP development and support, including the use of underpinning technology was identified as innovative and therefore was a key risk to be managed in delivering on the HELP CETL vision.
As well as Subject Forums, other groups or networks had a key role in developing, supporting, evaluating and disseminating their own and others' good practice. These focused on the establishment and development of the following CoPs:
The Knowledge Exchange Network, more informally known as KEN, is a Knowledge Management System that has been developed to facilitate the building and development of communities in the virtual domain.