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On his blog (http://ideas.blogs.com/) Ferdinand Krauss linked to Etienne Wenger (http://www.ewenger.com/theory/index.htm) and I found this excellent discription of learning communities.  I find great value in the last line of the grid “Mapping knowledge and identifying gaps”, I have never seen this laid out as a procedure.

http://www.ewenger.com/theory/index.htm

Communities develop their practice through a variety of activities. The following table provides a few typical examples:

Problem solving “Can we work on this design and brainstorm some ideas; I’m stuck.”
Requests for information “Where can I find the code to connect to the server?”
Seeking experience “Has anyone dealt with a customer in this situation?”
Reusing assets “I have a proposal for a local area network I wrote for a client last year. I can send it to you and you can easily tweak it for this new client.”
Coordination and synergy “Can we combine our purchases of solvent to achieve bulk discounts?”
Discussing developments “What do you think of the new CAD system? Does it really help?”
Documentation projects “We have faced this problem five times now. Let us write it down once and for all.”
Visits “Can we come and see your after-school program? We need to establish one in our city.”
Mapping knowledge and identifying gaps “Who knows what, and what are we missing? What other groups should we connect with?”
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