OER14 homeApplication › Miss Ella Mitchell

It’s good to share: building open sustainable communities of practice

Tuesday 14:30-15:00 (1), McClintock Suite

Type: Workshop

Theme: Building and linking communities of open practice

#oer14 #abs46


Miss Ella Mitchell, Education Support Manager, Imperial College, [email protected]
Marion Kelt, Senior Librarian: Digital Development and Information Literacy, Glasgow Caledonian University, [email protected]
Dr Vivien Sieber, Head Learning and Research Support and Development, University of Surrey, [email protected]
Nancy Graham, Subject Advisor (Medicine), University of Birmingham, [email protected]
Dr Jane Secker, LSE Centre for Learning Technology, London School Economics [email protected]



This workshop will examine how a Community of Practice (CoP) was established to support development and reuse of Open Educational Resources in the teaching of Information Literacy. There have been some notable reports which have highlighted the importance of librarians in finding and sharing OERs (Wild, J. 2011 and Bueno-de-la-Fuente, G., Robertson, J. and Boon, S. 2012). Many librarians have an interest in OERs, however this has mainly been fuelled by enthusiasm of some individuals, but who supports the librarians in this area? The CoPILOT (Community of Practice for Information Literacy Online Teaching) committee was formed to sustain a CoP, which provides free workshops and events to provide library professionals’ with the knowledge and expertise to either support their academic colleagues or to look at how they can utilise OERs in their own practices and teaching. This workshop will draw on participants’ experiences and seek to identify the importance of having open communities of practice especially with the spread of OERs. The workshop will draw on the experience of CoPILOT and some of the literature and guidance for developing communities of practice to show how we have has sought to build an active and open community of practice (Cambridge, D., Kaplan, S. and Suter, V. 2005).

Intended aims

1. Highlight the importance of open communities of practice for professionals involved with OERs.
2. To consider the key features of a community of open practice and to consider what delegates would want from a CoP.
3. Discuss ways for establishing a community of practice and to give participants ideas of how to establish a community of practice.
4. To look at ways of sustaining a community of practice and some of the issues with sustaining interest.
Content: Delegates will learn about the work of a community of open practice. They will get an idea of why it is important to form open communities of practice, be they online or off line. As well as practical ideas and tips for setting up and building a CoP.

Proposed plan for the workshop

0-5 mins: Introduction to the workshop.
5-15 mins: Small group discussion: What are the advantages of communities of practice? Why are communities of practice so vital in the modern educational environment in particular with area of OERs.
15-30mins: Case study of a community of practice- Background to the CoPILOT community, timeline, workshops and activities. Steps to building a Community of Practice to support professionals using, finding and creating Open Educational Resources (Cambridge, D., Kaplan, S. and Suter, V. 2005)
30-35 mins: What are the key features delegates would like to see from a CoP
35-45 mins: Sustainability- Importance of working with other communities: Work with Jorum and developing the Information Literacy
45-55 mins: A group exercise delegates- Planning for the future: SWOT- strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Using the CoPILOT case study as a working example or delegates can choose an example of their own.
55-60 mins: Group feedback and close of session.

Delivery method(s)

This workshop will use a variety of delivery methods including some presentations. However where possible this workshop will aim to be interactive and engage delegates in a number of ways including taking part in group discussions and group exercises. There will be some discussion lead by workshop facilitators and feedback from group discussions will be collated by facilitators.


Bueno-de-la-Fuente, G., Robertson, J. and Boon, S. (2012). The roles of libraries and information professionals in open educational resources (OER) initiatives. Available from: http://publications.cetis.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/OER-Libraries-Survey-Report.pdf. [Accessed 23 November 2013].
Cambridge, D., Kaplan, S. and Suter, V. (2005). Communities of practice design guide: A step by step guide for designing and cultivating communities of practice in Higher Education. Available from: http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/nli0531.pdf. [Accessed 23 November 2013].
Wild, J. (2011). OER engagement study: promoting OER reuse among academics. Available from: http://www.open.ac.uk/score/files/score/file/OER%20Engagement%20Study%20Joanna%20Wild_full%20research%20report.pdf. [Accessed 23 November 2013].

Further details

Keywords: Community of practice, support for professionals, OERs Information Literacy, Librarians, library professionals

Miss Ella Mitchell, Education Support Manager, Imperial College

Twitter: @meatyloafy

Twitter abstract: A practical workshop showing how @CoPILOT2013 are building a community of open practice to support profession in use/reu