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Building a digitally enhanced community of practice

Jonan Phillip Donaldson (Center for Teaching Excellence, Texas A&M University College Station, College Station, Texas, USA)

Information and Learning Sciences

ISSN: 2398-5348

Article publication date: 15 June 2020

Issue publication date: 27 July 2020




Emergency transitions from face-to-face learning environments to digitally mediated learning require robust support networks, particularly in the form of communities of practice. Digitally enhanced communities of practice (DECoP) can be created and sustained when research-based design principles are used. The purpose of this paper is to present a set of evidence-based design principles for purposeful creation of digitally enhanced communities of practice.


This study used integrative literature review methodology. All literature regarding DECoP was collected, analyzed and synthesized to provide a set of design principles for building DECoPs.


The analysis resulted in 26 crucial design principles and 8 desirable design principles.

Practical implications

The synthesized set of design principles provides a blueprint for designing and facilitating the development of DECoPs.


This unique synthesis of the DECoP literature provides practitioners with guidance in creating and nurturing a new DECoP.



This paper is part of the special issue, “A Response to Emergency Transitions to Remote Online Education in K-12 and Higher Education” which contains shorter, rapid-turnaround invited works, not subject to double-blind peer review. The issue was called, managed and produced on short timeline in Summer 2020 toward pragmatic instructional application in the Fall 2020 semester.


Donaldson, J.P. (2020), "Building a digitally enhanced community of practice", Information and Learning Sciences, Vol. 121 No. 5/6, pp. 241-250.



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Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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