A learning community is a group of people who share knowledge about a topic, connect with each other, and create common practices. Communities of practice, learning networks, and knowledge networks are other common terms for learning communities. All organizations contain informal networks of people who share ideas and help each other with everyday work problems. Sometimes these networks congeal around a topic and the network forms spontaneously into a learning community. The topic could be a discipline, such as geology, biochemistry, social work, or civil engineering. Or it could cross several disciplines, such as a type of oil field, people who serve a particular customer, or an emerging technology. These spontaneous learning communities spring from people's natural need to learn from and help each other. ...

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