A virtual Community of Practice (CoP) is a network of individuals who share a domain of interest about which they communicate online. The practitioners share resources (for example experiences, problems and solutions, tools, methodologies). Such communication results in the improvement of the knowledge of each participant in the community and contributes to the development of the knowledge within the domain. A virtual learning community may involve the conduct of original research but it is more likely that its main purpose is to increase the knowledge of participants, via formal education or professional development. Virtual learning communities could have learning as their main goal or the e-learning could be generated as a side effect.
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