Instructional Science

, Volume 39, Issue 6, pp 821–841 | Cite as

Learning to design collaboratively: Participation of student designers in a Community of Innovation



Creativity researchers have drawn on cognitive principles to characterize individual innovation. However, few comprehensive frameworks have been developed to relate social innovation to social cognition research. This article introduces the Communities of Innovation (COI) framework and examines its applications in a culture designed to promote collaborative creativity. Findings included evidence for some aspects of the COI model (flow and hacker ethic, entrepreneurship, collaboration and mentoring, sense of community, and learning through design criticism), moderate support for others (dynamic expertise and idea prototyping), but no evidence for other components (developing adaptable knowledge and expertise, symmetrical expertise within the community, community reflection, shifting interpersonal roles, or benefiting from cultural/educational/skill/other diversity). The majority of the new ideas identified and shared by participants were developed through interaction with others. Implications for refinement of the COI framework and future research are discussed.


Communities of Innovation Communities of Practice Innovation Creativity Social cognition Collaborative learning Collaborative work 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instructional Psychology and Technology DepartmentBrigham Young UniversityProvoUSA
  2. 2.Learning and Performance Support LaboratoryUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA

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