A community of practice (CoP) is a group of individuals who interact over time and are bound together by a shared interest or purpose.
A CoP can be an online and face-to-face community that has the capacity to both share and generate knowledge. The essential elements to a CoP include:
- They are held together by "learning" of members
- They may perform tasks, but tasks do not define the community
- Members join in order to learn
- Members' ability to learn together builds trust
The CoP has many advantages. It promotes collaboration, it provides the opportunity to share lessons learned, and it enables innovation and creativity.