Res Dev Med Educ. 2018;7(2): 82-90.
doi: 10.15171/rdme.2018.017
  Abstract View: 362
  PDF Download: 300

Original Research

Developing Communities of Practice Model to Enhance Knowledge and Improve Learning among Faculty Members (Case Study: Tabriz University of Medical Sciences)

Nayer Seyednazari 1, Sadegh Maleki Avarsin 1 * ORCID logo, Jahangir Yari Haj Atalou 1

1 Department of Educational Sciences, Tabriz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tabriz, Iran


Background: Due to the importance of the teaching and learning process in medical sciences,it is necessary to provide an appropriate context to facilitate knowledge sharing. Communities of practice (CoPs) is one strategy for sharing explicit knowledge and learning among individuals.This research aimed to develop CoPs model at Tabriz University of Medical Sciences.

Methods: This descriptive-survey research was conducted on 245 faculty members selected through a simple random sampling method at Tabriz University of Medical Sciences who had the rank of professor, associate professor and assistant professor in the 2017-2018 academic year. An exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was performed by analyzing main components that were verified by a confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). The reliability of components was calculated using Cronbach’s alpha.

Results: The CoPs model consists of six components including participatory leadership, goals/aims, boundary and size, interactions, formal structures, and informal structures. There was a significant relationship observed between all components. The strongest correlations were observed between the boundary-size and interactions (0.85), goals/aims and leadership(0.78), and informal structure and leadership (0.76). In examining the relationships between each component, the strongest correlation was found between CoPs and informal structure(0.88), participatory leadership (0.87), and interactions (0.85) and the weakest relationship was observed between formal structure and CoPs (0.61). Results of determining fit indices indicated validity of the CoPs model (χ2/df =2.69, CFI= 0.92, IFI= 0.92, NFI= 0.88, RMSEA= 0.09).

Conclusion: university managers using this model and strengthening the informal aspects of existing communities increase the possibility of faculty members’ interactions from different units and having them participate in decision making related to teaching and learning processes to take effective steps towards academic development of this university.

Keywords: Community Participation, Social Learning, Information Dissemination, Knowledge Management
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Submitted: 01 Sep 2018
Revision: 30 Oct 2018
Accepted: 31 Oct 2018
ePublished: 31 Oct 2018
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