What is a community of practice?

Communities of Practice event held at the Oak House

According to Etienne and Beverly Wenger-Trayner, communities of practice are “groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.”

There are three basic criteria for membership in a community of practice, including a shared domain of interest, a community or group of people who communicate with each other and engage in joint, sustained activities, and the practice, or development of a shared repertoire of knowledge and expertise through experiences, stories and tools. Finding value in the interactions and developing one’s sense of identity are common themes for community members (Wenger, McDermott & Snyder, 2002).

Some of the possible activities of a community of practice for research on global engagement include, but are not limited to: critical reflection on extant scholarship; mapping existing knowledge and identifying gaps; linking evidence to practice; showcasing “best practices”; identifying possible collaborative opportunities; discussing strategies for scholarly productivity across life ages and stages; mentoring students.


Ketevan Kupatadze and Olivia Choplin present their project sponsored by the CRG