Community of Practice Arteveldehogeschool

Waai supervised Arteveldehogeschool in setting up a Community of Practice. The Community of Practice (CoP) aims to share knowledge and experience in the use of design thinking and design research techniques.

Arteveldehogeschool CoP

The challenge at stake

Arteveldehogeschool is not only an educational institution but also a research institution. Research is carried out within the discipline at the various departments or faculties. That research is increasingly being conducted with the help of design research and design thinking techniques.

For the initial set-up of the CoP, we organized 3 workshops. In a first workshop we covered need, context and expectations. In a second workshop we collected as many ideas as possible, ideas that would help us to come to a widely supported solution. In a third workshop, a first version of the CoP was designed and a roadmap was determined, with important milestones and related tasks. For example, there was a clear picture of where we are going with the CoP, in what steps this will happen and which tasks need to be fulfilled.

Mapping the needs

We investigated who is involved and what their goals and expectations are in the use of design thinking and design research and in the design of the Community of Practice. This showed that the need for knowledge of design thinking was not limited to research, but was also felt with the development of educational material and general services. Moreover, the demand also lived among students and related social profit organizations.

Thinking of all possible solutions

In a second phase, we formulated ideas, based on the needs of all stakeholders, on how such a CoP could look like. This happened as widely as possible, averse to any imaginary or real limitation. Each participant in the workshop formulated concrete expectations based on their own objectives, how these expectations should be fulfilled and what the impact would be on the shape of the CoP.

A Community of Practice is a self-learning organ. This placed the emphasis on the contribution that each participant expects to be able to provide, in addition to the expected output. In doing so, different levels and different domains of knowledge must be taken into account.

The Community of Practice is not only a self-learning organ, but also self-steering. No one is obliged to participate, so the meetings must be so enthusiastic that it encourages participants to have sufficient and continuous participation.

Launching an initial Community of Practice

The launch was based on a clear picture of the types of participants, their expected engagement and the knowledge they could contribute.

A list of tasks was assigned to the stated milestones. All tasks are linked to one of the four defined pillars:

  • Acquiring knowledge;
  • Producing knowledge;
  • Passing on knowledge;
  • Communicate about knowledge.

The milestones in the designed roadmap aim to create a broader support base for the use of design research techniques and the design of the CoP within Arteveldehogeschool.

This broad support is needed, on the one hand to reach enough participants and on the other hand to acquire sufficient operating resources to enable the growth of the CoP.