Enabling a community of practice: Fostering social learning between designers and design managers at postgraduate level

Yee, Joyce and MacLarty, Liz (2010) Enabling a community of practice: Fostering social learning between designers and design managers at postgraduate level. In: Enhancing Curricula: 5th Centre for Teaching Art and Design Conference (CLTAD), 12-13 April 2010, Berlin.

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This paper discusses the principles and practices of a joint programme of MA Design and Design Management studies at a UK-based university that has encouraged students from
different design disciplines to develop a community of practice (COP). It describes the structure of the current MA programmes and how a series of staff initiatives in response
to financial and organisational necessity has led to conditions conducive for the emergence of a communities of practice.

A community of practice is defined by Wenger and Synder (1999, p.139-140) as a group of people informally bound together by shared expertise or a particular interest.
Developing a COP can be a means to generate new ideas, methods and processes (Schlager, Fusco, & Schank, 2002). Building a community of practice is a vital ingredient
in the development of a design professional operating in a post-disciplinary design era in which complex problems stretch across traditional disciplines and cultures
(Moggridge, 2007).

The paper begins by providing a background to the growth and expansion of postgraduate education in the institution and proceeds to describe the structure and delivery of its programmes. It highlights learning opportunities created by teaching staff to facilitate the development of a community of practice. It concludes by presenting a number of challenges faced by programmes in maintaining conducive environments for
COP to foster in view of proposed growth.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: community of practice, postgraduate design education, social learning
Subjects: W200 Design studies
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Design
Depositing User: Ellen Cole
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2012 14:40
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2023 13:01
URI: https://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/8823

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