The October 5 installment of the Dean's Distinguished Lecture Series welcomed two pioneers of communities of practice, Etienne and Beverly Wenger-Trayner. Any field of human knowledge can be seen as a landscape of different communities of practice, each one contributing a specific perspective. Learning is then a journey through that landscape with people developing their identity in respect to different practices they encounter, join, visit, ignore, or leave. This perspective is the topic of recent developments in social learning theory. In this keynote the Wenger-Trayner's presented these developments and discussed with the audience their applicability to their work.
Etienne Wenger-Trayner is a globally recognized thought leader in the field of social learning and communities of practice. He has authored and co-authored seminal articles and books on the topic, including Situated Learning, where the term "community of practice" was coined. Beverly Wenger-Trayner is a learning consultant specializing in communities of practice and social learning systems. Her expertise encompasses both the design of learning architectures and the facilitation of processes, activities, and use of new technologies. She has published chapters and articles about learning in internationally distributed communities and co-authored a popular toolkit on social reporting. She has also been the creative director of an Open Source platform for networked communities.