A Design Framework for Interdisciplinary Communities of Practice Towards STEM Learning in 2nd Level Education

  • Kieran Delaney
  • Michelle O’Keeffe
  • Olga Fragou
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 715)


Modern societies need young people who are able to think creatively, to collaborate well across multiple disciplines and to use new scientific, technical and engineering knowledge to achieve effective results. This brings a requirement for better teaching and learning approaches that can operate through a real world perspective where complex systems and problems are all around us. This paper describes the development of a framework designed to empower 2nd level teachers to achieve this by using Ubiquitous, Mobile, and Internet of Things technologies to enhance their approaches to teaching engineering and science subjects to their students. We provide a methodology and design approach towards forming and developing a Community of Practice (CoP), as a knowledge management schema for this and we describe exemplars from the engineering domain to illustrate the approach.


Knowledge management Community of practice Design methodology Collaborative learning Project based learning Real world experiences Technical teacher training Academic-industry partnerships K-12 and pre-college programs 



The UMI-Sci-Ed project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 710583.


  1. 1.
    Weiser, M.: The computer for the 21st century. SIGMOBILE Mob. Comput. Commun. Rev. 3(3), 3–11 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    UDOO. UDOO (2016). Accessed 24 Nov 2016
  3. 3.
    Lave, J., Wenger, E.: Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (1991)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Wenger, E.: Community of Practice: A Brief Introduction. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Brown, J.S., Duguid, P.: Organizational learning and communities-of-practice: toward a unified view of working, learning, and innovation. Organ. Sci. 2(1), 40–57 (1991). CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Hildreth, P., Kimble, C., Wright, P.: Communities of practice: going virtual. In: Knowledge Management and Business Model Innovation (Sachs 1995), pp. 220–234 (2001)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Amin, A., Roberts, J.: Knowing in action: beyond communities of practice. Res. Policy, 37, 353–369 (2008). CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Knorr Cetina, K.: Epistemic Cultures: How the Sciences Make Sense. Chicago University Press, Chicago (1999)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Gittelman, M.: Does geography matter for science-based firms? Epistemic communities and the geography of research and patenting in biotechnology. Organ. Sci. 18, 724–741 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Haas, P.: Introduction: epistemic communities and international policy coordination. Int. Organ. 46(1), 1–37 (1992)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Fischer, G.: Communities of interest: learning through the interaction of multiple knowledge systems. In: Bjornestad, S., Moe, R., Morch, A., Opdahl, A. (eds.) Proceedings of the 24th IRIS Conference, Ulvik, Department of Information Science, Bergen, Norway, pp. 1–14 (2001)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Lindkvist, L.: Knowledge communities and knowledge collectivities: a typology of knowledge work in groups. J. Manag. Stud. 42(6), 1189–1210 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Gherardi, S.: Organizational Knowledge: The Texture of Workplace Learning. Blackwell Publishing, Oxford (2006)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Wenger, E., McDermott, R., Snyder, W.: Cultivating Communities of Practice. Harvard Business School Press, Boston (2002)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Wenger, E., Snyder, W.M.: Communities of Practice: Facing Complexity in Government. Paper presented at the Knowledge Management in Government Conference, Washington, D.C., 14 April 2003Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Snyder, W.M., Briggs, X.d.S.: Communities of Practice: A New Tool for Government Managers. The IBM Center for the Business of Government, Arlington (2003)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Hoadley, C.: What is a community of practice and how can we support it? Theor. Found. Learn. 814, 287–300 (2012)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Cleary, Y.: Community of practice and professionalization perspectives on technical communication in Ireland. IEEE Trans. Prof. Commun. 59(2), 126–139 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Wenger, E.: Communities of Practice: Learning, Meaning, and Identity. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, New York (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kieran Delaney
    • 1
  • Michelle O’Keeffe
    • 1
  • Olga Fragou
    • 2
  1. 1.Cork Institute of TechnologyCorkIreland
  2. 2.Computer Technology InstitutePatrasGreece

Personalised recommendations