According to Wenger-Trayner (2015), communities of practice (CoP) are “groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.” (p. 1). This is not just a group or team; it has to meet at least three key characteristics: domain, community and practice.
Domain refers to shared interest or competence that distinguishes its members from other individuals. Community, on the other hand, is formed through shared activities and discussions, whereby members help each other, share information and learn from each other to build stronger relationships. Practice means that members are supposed to be practitioners who “share a repertoire of resources: experiences, stories, tools, ways of addressing recurring problems—in short a shared practice… which takes time and sustained interaction.” (Wenger-Trayner, 2015, p. 2). The combination of these three elements constitutes a community of practice, and developing and sustaining these three elements can lead for such a community to flourish. Figure 1 shows the interconnectedness of these key qualities that comprise CoP.