Chapter 5, Locality

Wenger, in Communities of Practice


Wenger’s list of indicators that a COP has formed (this seems npot to be forensic, it seems loose)


  1. sustained mutual relationships (check)
  2. shared ways of engaging in dpoing things together (check, blogging, tweeting, cross commentinmg on reflective posts…)
  3. the tapid flow of informatioon and propogation of innovation (done and done)
  4. conversations that seem to be continuances, rather than requiring preambles (not so much…this may be a function, in part, of cues missing from asynchronous online interaction. It can happen, but it may not be as characteristic of a COP as in offline interactions)
  5. v quick setup of problems to be discussed (this can be the case)
  6. substantial overlap in ideas of who belongs (this is the case at times, and not at others, but online practices on open platforms, as opposed to closed platforms, are, by their open nature, more polymorphic, and differ significantly from person to person. Twitter followeres for example)
  7. knowing what others know, what they can do, and how they can contribute -(done and done, though, in part, this is less emergent from relations, perhaps – a lot of this is gatherable from checking a persons’s profile, archives, comment histyories etc etc)
  8. mutually defining idenbtities (I’m not sure, here, what he actually means…is this as in interdependent identities in practice?…hmm I have an idea, but I’m not confident…)
  9. ability to assess the approrpriateness of actions and products
  10. local lore, shared stories, insode jokes, knowing laughter ( key to build this in…)
  11. specific tool, representations, other atrifacts (10 and 11 should switch, online tools tend to be shared to a degree by default – the communication mechanism, and the investment in learning and utilising it is often shared. Other tools may be less hared. There are 20 ws to edit a movie online. There are differemnt platforms, with different technologies.
  12. Jargon
  13. certain styles recognised as displaying membership (?)
  14. shared discourse reflecting a certain world perspective

Wenger make an interesting point, which helps differentiate a personal network form a COP.


The less a person interacts across the network with everyone, the less it looks like a COP, and the more it looks like a Personal Network. P126. Is this a line into the PLN aspect of Connectivism?

Also, given that the connectivist shared enterprise may be loose, and the repertoire not so shared, ow COPy is it?

Wengers qualification – especially the argument that if hardlky anything is locally produced, are they really engaging in a shared enterprise – feels dated, as if COP needs to be updated for a post social media, poist WEB 2.0 communication experience.


It strikes me that a Connectivist experience can fulfill many of Wenghers Learning descriptions, some of his three charactyeristics, and notg many of his physical and social requirements in terms of interaction.


He talkks about “Constellations of Practice” (p127), nbeing broadm, diverse configurations which are removed from the indiovidualk – whole factoreis for example, or speakers of a lnaguage. But this feels too broad for a Connectivist experience. That said, some of his reasons for constellation of p formation are interesting


  1. sharing historical roots (not a n actual shared history, but a shared professional history)
  2. having related enterprises (check)
  3. serving a cause or belomnging to an instiotution (check)
  4. having similar conditions (check)
  5. ving members in common (may, or may not be the case.
  6. Sharing artifacts (check…perhaps ones that are created, or sharing resources, ideas, tools etc)
  7. ving geographical proximity – (nope, but praCTICE PROXIMITY..)
  8. having overlapping styles/discourses (this may be true of subsets with the cMOOC, but is not generally the case)
  9. competing for the same resources (online resources are reproducible, ascaleable. You don;t compete for YouTube bandwidth, though ypou may for views)


A given COP can be a member of any number of constellations.

“a given constellation….may or may not be named”

there may or may not be people who try to keep the constrellation together.


I stiil think Wenger ois Connectivist applicable, but it needs serious updating.




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