Informal partnerships of learning among groups of people with a shared purpose or passion for something they do.
A community of practice is an approach that views learning as a collaborative social experience where regular interaction provides an opportunity for improving practice. The value in a community of practice is the support network that it provides its learners in helping to solve problems through collective thinking the exchange of knowledge experiences and sometimes through the creation of new knowledge and ideas.
For example a group of lecturers discussing study skills in the staffroom are developing their professional knowledge and expertise. An online group of students who discuss their dissertations via social media are developing a repository of shared knowledge and ideas.