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Online Communities of Practice (OCoP)

Team 4: Sanad Shah, Emanuelson, Cunha, Askar

1. Usability with respect to assessing approaches to existing or projected teaching/design

This is an interesting question. Is this a theory? Or is this, as the name implies, a framework for
practice? This is certainly not a theory with the same strict focus that Behaviorism, Cognitivism
and Constructivism have. We are not sure that we can use this approach in our existing teaching
settings, because this approach is totally different from other theories and approaches. There are
no set goals, curriculum, tasks and assessment, which we need for any teaching or design settings
or situations.
2. Your recommendation(s) and opinion to your colleagues (recommend, not recommend, ease
of difficulty in understanding the approach, etc).
We think this has limited application although that is definitely changing. And as with some of
the other theories we have assessed, this does not seem to be a standalone theory, which is one
reason we are struggling with the idea that this is a suggestion for practice or how to proceed.
We recommend this approach for practice purposes, because it's a good source for sharing skills
and knowledge.
3. Your opinion as to which theory, or theories, is dominant.
This approach is influenced by Constructivism and to a lesser extent Cognitivism, because
according to Constructivist theory people learn through observations and scientific studies.
People construct their understanding and knowledge through experiences and sharing and
sharing and collaboration are the main elements of CoP.
5P Analysis Rubric
Online Communities of Practice (OCoP)
Team 4: Sanad Shah, Emanuelson, Cunha, Askar

Y = Yes
N= No Comments
Element of Motivation N/A = Not
? = Cannot
1 The theory considers whether Y In collaborative theory the OCoP
material is relevant to needs and members have a common interest,
goals of the learner apprenticeship. The theory totally
supports that the content is relevant
to learners needs and goals.

2 The theory includes Y OCoP members share some

consideration as to whether commonalities as far as interest in
material and/or presentation/ a topic or problem. OCoP members
stimulus is novel, is something bring the material/ presentation to
new and interesting to the the group. Presentation might not
learner be novel but content most likely is,
because the members of OCoP
have different and unique topics,
which they bring to the forum and

3 The theory concerns itself with Y Members join the OCoP

the presentation approach being voluntarily and their participation
intrinsically pleasant/ reflects their interest in building
interesting/stimulating/ thought knowledge within a community
provoking setting. Also, each member of the
OCoP joins this community
voluntarily, which means that they
are intrinsically motivated to join
the group.

4 The theory informs with respect Y Knowledge has advanced as

to areas such as wording, communication technologies have
visuals, audio, language being improved. While the theory does
manageable and useable to the not specify this, the technologies
receiving group or individual will inform this theory. The OCoP
is online community where the
members interact with each other
through internet, and they know the
use of technology and use of audio,
visuals aids to discuss or explain
new topics or content.

5 The theory supports Y In the OCoP approach, members
opportunities being provided to share or develop several core
develop proficiency in commonalities. Members typically
application of the skill, share: a common language or set of
knowledge, ability or concept problems; common training or
experience; a common way of
working or doing things. OCoP
community members choose the
topics that can address any type of
issue or problem that builds on
knowledge of community
members, improve proficiency in
their fields.

6 The theory supports practice This theory is all about practicing

activities, to include repetition ? through the community. This
and spiraling, designed to theory centers around the
develop automaticity in community developing a
responses and execution if framework for practice. The
appropriate community can be task based or
knowledge based, or even practice
based. The development of
repetition and automaticity really
depends why the OCoP was
formed to start. Because in OCoP
or CoP there are no set curriculum
or assessments, or any set or
designed activities for practice.

7 The theory requires that practice Y Members of the OCoP, join the
is relevant to needs and goals of community for certain goals
the learner (apprenticeship or knowledge
acquisition), and members won’t
join unless the OCoP is relevant to
their needs. Similarly the OCoP
will not retain members who are
not committed to the goals of the

8 The theory covers self- N In an OCoP approach there is no

assessment or assessment by proper assessment or evaluation
other means that evidences that process. The OCoP is not focused
the Learner can see that on knowledge attainment as
skill/competency acquisition is determined by an outside authority.
taking place However, self-assessment could be
utilized to determine if the group’s
learning goals are met.

9 The theory requires practice N In an OCoP approach, learning is

activities that are within or taking place in an informal setting
slightly above the learner’s or environment, so there are no set
competency level activities or tasks to perform, and
are not central to the functioning of
the OCoP. For tasks or activities
that are performed, if beyond a
OCoP members abilities, the other
OCoP members would most likely

1 The theory requires that practice ? The focus of an OCoP is not

0 be designed to lead to correct necessarily towards a correct
response. response, although it could be.
Some OCOPs can be task-based
and for these the final correct
response might be more important.
It all centers around why the OCoP
was formed: task based, practice
based, or knowledge based.

Production and Posting

1 The theory encourages Y OCoP is entirely about application,
1 application of the skill, through sharing of practices and
knowledge/ability or concept knowledge by the OCoP members.
being learned
1 The theory encourages Y The OCoP approach encourages
2 publication of whatever is the learners to share their work and
produced by the learner to ideas with each other.
group for peer view and
1 Theory supports synchronous or Y OCoP originally launched as a
3 asynchronous review of posted group that shared commonalities.
products Meetings can be face to face or
online and can be both
synchronous and/or asynchronous.

1 Theory promotes a Community Y The collaborative learning theory

4 of Practice/Wisdom/Knowledge promotes OCoP, as this theory
totally supports and promotes
community of practice, because it
is built on the concept of sharing
knowledge and skills with other
members of the community.

1 Theory supports some form of Y The members of the OCoP

5 accountability with respect to communicate with each other
who is contributing and how where members know little about
they are contributing to each other. For well-functioning
knowledge sharing OCoP’s there is a certain amount
of accountability for members to
adhere to ground rules such as
minimum participation, fair
treatment, etc. And in that way
there is some accountability with
regards to communication.

1 Theory accounts for variation in Y The CoP is a voluntary

6 task readiness and ability to collaboration between members, to
contribute to group effort to share knowledge and experience.
meet goals

1 In terms of theory, does the Y The theory is built on collaboration

7 theory provide for within the OCoP.