Professional development in community


Image by Katarina Caspersen (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

As grateful as I am for the conferences I get to attend, they are not the only form of professional development.  This week I’ll salute another form, the learning community.

The ERIC Thesaurus (2008) scope note defines communities of practice as “Groups of people sharing an interest or profession who interact and collaborate in order to share knowledge and develop solutions for common problems.”  Related terms include Interprofessional Relationship and Problem Solving.

Nistor, Daxecker, Stanciu, and Diekamp (2015) examined the social side of such communities.  They looked at time spent in the community, socio-emotional knowledge, and the centrality of one’s role in the community (pp. 262-263).  Of these factors the interpersonal knowledge was particularly important in developing a sense of community (p. 271).

In short communities of practice are another professional development option with a social component.  The above article was but a sample: we librarians are happy to help you learn more about the topic.


Communities of practice. (2008). In ERIC thesaurus.  Retrieved from

Nistor, N., Daxecker, I., Stanciu, D., & Diekamp, O. (2015). Sense of community in academic communities of practice: Predictors and effects. Higher Education: The International Journal Of Higher Education And Educational Planning, 69(2), 257-273.  doi: 10.1007/s10734-014-9773-6