A major outcome of the EnterMode project is a Virtual Community of Practice that allows to widen views on entrepreneurship education, share good practice and build a common stock of knowledge based on practical experience with entrepreneurship education.
According to Wenger “communities of practice are groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly“ (Wenger 2010). They build a common stock of knowledge, accumulate expertise in their domain, and develop their shared practice by interacting around problems, solutions, and insights. A Community of Practice (CoP) is a learning partnership among people who have learned to do something over time and have developed a shared practice, whereas practice is a historically developed way to do something (Wenger 2019).
The EnterMode Community of Practice
The EnterMode Community of Practice intends to support the development, sharing and critical reflection of entrepreneurship practice, and to facilitate the knowledge flow between higher education and enterprises for organisation of internships and skills building. To this purpose the partnership provides a virtual space as well as tools for learning and collaboration between higher education teachers and companies’ trainers that are called to develop entrepreneurial skills to students, adopt the EnterMode model and organize students’ internships. The virtual community is available from DISCUSS - The European Platform for Communities of Practice, which offers a rich variety of open-source based tools that CoP members can use to create content, share knowledge and collaborate with each other.
Knowledge Flow Cycle and Growth Model
The EnterMode Community of Practice is based on a knowledge flow cycle, defined along four dimensions: knowledge resources, knowledge sharing, knowledge management and knowledge transfer. Each stage is supported by a team of 14 facilitators, one from each partner organisation.
The Enter.Mode Community Growth Model foresees a set of lifecycle phases, each of which shows different characteristics for engagement.
- During the inception stage we will create a stock of initial content, with a view to stimulate first community reaction. Three types of inputs will be of particular relevance:
Interviews with students and stakeholders, storytelling, as well as artefacts created during internships. Both HEI and company partners will conduct at least one video interview either with students or stakeholders. The interviews shall be based on personal experience of the interviewees and have a length of 4 – 5 minutes. They can be conducted in national language and will be subtitled in English language.
HEI teachers have been invited to tell stories about their personal experience with entrepreneurship education, interests and motivations driving his/her engagement, problems he/she wants to solve. Rather than combining facts, storytelling is meant to create narratives about practice from a personal point of view. Stories can be told in a written format, typically a blog post, in a video or in a mix of both.
The community has been equipped with a multilingual repository for open educational resouces, which by members can used to share OER materials related to the topic of entrepreneurship in HEI.
- During the establishing phase and heading towards the maturity phase, the activities started in phase 1 step by step will be expanded. The EnterMode team will invite members to take part in discussions, surveys and quizzes as well as getting engaged in thematic work groups. In a mid-term perspective the EnterMode partnership expects that most activities and interaction taking place in the community will be intiated by the members themselves, contributions and discussions will be moderated by experts in their own affairs, recruited from the community members, discussion topics and groups to a great extent will set up by members, and that moderators will facilitate and nurture the development of the community rather than manage or steer it.