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Reflections on the Roles of Community of Practice (CoP) in Engineering Education

Reflections on the Roles of Community of Practice (CoP) in Engineering Education
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Author(s): Eyitayo Olatunde Olakanmi (University of South Africa, South Africa) and Moses J. Strydom (University of South Africa, South Africa)
Copyright: 2016
Pages: 22
Source title: Organizational Knowledge Facilitation through Communities of Practice in Emerging Markets
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Sheryl Buckley (University of South Africa, South Africa), Grzegorz Majewski (University of the West of Scotland, UK) and Apostolos Giannakopoulos (University of South Africa, South Africa)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0013-1.ch010


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Community of practice (CoP) encompasses shared approaches for carrying out tasks with a view to facilitating intellectual neighborliness among learners, educators and practicing professionals. Despite the popularity of the CoP approach within industries and the medical education, the practice of using it in engineering education is not widespread as most educators have limited knowledge of how to implement CoP into their classrooms. Moreover, it is not clear from the engineering education literature how the implementation of CoP has enhanced conceptual understanding and imparted employable skills to learners. To address these concerns, available literature detailing the implementation of CoP across professional disciplines and education sector over the past one and half decades were evaluated with a view to identifying and documenting evidences of current practices of CoP, and subsequently developed into a framework for re-designing an important aspect of engineering curricula: work integrated learning (WIL). This will have an objective to successfully enhance conceptual understanding and impart employable skills to learners.

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