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

Joyce Yee, Liz MacLarty

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

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Abstract

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.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010
EventEnhancing Curricula: 5th Centre for Teaching Art and Design Conference (CLTAD) - Berlin
Duration: 1 Apr 2010 → …

Conference

ConferenceEnhancing Curricula: 5th Centre for Teaching Art and Design Conference (CLTAD)
Period1/04/10 → …

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