VOTA's Communities of Practice
VOTA has developed a range of virtual Communities of Practice (CoPs) as an evidence-based strategy for building networking opportunities and professional occupational therapy connections across the state. CoPs allow occupational therapy practitioners, students and educators to connect across geographical boundaries and to focus on shared interests or concerns. As a VOTA member benefit, CoPs facilitate connections between members and strengthen not only individual practice, but also the organization.
What is a Community of Practice?
A community of practice (CoP) is a “group of people who share a concern, a set of problems, or a passion about a topic, and who deepen their knowledge and expertise in this area by interacting on an ongoing basis” (Wenger et. al., 2002, p.4.). CoPs are social learning groups that focus on networking, sharing information, and creating new knowledge together to advance a domain of professional practice.
What are the benefits of a CoP?
CoPs provide opportunities for participants to come together and have a shared learning experience around a common passion or interest. This can happen virtually, making participation possible across a wide geographical area and without the need for travel time! CoPs are a good fit for individuals at all stages of their career as they focus on the sharing of experiences and ideas.