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Community of Practice (CoP) Strand

Skills for Life Network

AP colleagues registered on this strand of the programme are developing their AP role, without the face-to face support that is characteristically available from peers attending the 3-Day CPD programme, taught sessions. So how are they are doing it?

The answer would be through networking. They are being networked with events, resources and each other through Canvas, a state-of-the-art Learning Management system. Whilst every AP has been given their own personal Canvas account, for those following the CoP strand, it is the primary means of networking as well as the platform for a structured development programme (#APConnect Wireframe). 

project people

One of the resounding successes of this strand of AP development activity has been engagement in Action Learning Sets (ALSs) supported be video conferencing via Zoom, Canvas, etc. Action Learning Sets (ALS) are at the heart of the AP Development Programme project design. As Lou points out in her video introduction to our Canvas module supporting ALS engagement, “You can’t learn to network without networking, right?”. Reg Revans, who created the concept of Action Learning Sets, claimed that: “There is no action without learning and no learning without action.” 

Action learning sets, therefore, bring a small group of people together to share and collectively reflect on the learning (and learning needs) of its group members as they relate to the challenges, each of them face, in real-work situations (hence ‘Action Learning’). In our experience, getting started with an ALS frequently requires effort to overcome a natural inertia towards making time to do it.  However, what we also observe – in all cases – is that once started, members all agree on how beneficial the process has been to have the support of four or five other practitioners who are prepared to bring their collective attention together to ask pertinent questions and to offer their thoughts and support.  You can find out more about the protocols for action learning sets here

project people

In the next edition we are planning to include a short blog from one of our CoP participants in which he reflects on his experiences of being involved in an action learning set over the past 5 months.  

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