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The 3 ‘C’s: Community, Campus and Cohort

Photo of my CodeClan cohort on graduation day

Good memories of my own learning community: Photo of my CodeClan cohort on graduation day!

Community is about human interaction and participation. The overall design of any module or programme should relate to the three key interlinking areas of community, campus and cohort.

There are lots of overlapping, interrelated issues in teaching and learning, as with most human interactions.


We are relating the three ‘C’s to Leve and Wegner’s (1991, 1998) notions of community of practice and learning as primarily being about social participation. They proposed that for any community of practice there needs to be:

  • a domain: a domain of knowledge creates common ground, inspires members to participate, guides their learning and gives meaning to their actions. I thought this meant their academic subject area but it’s not: it is the campus, ie the digital and physical spaces the university provides for staff and students which provide for a commonality of experience
  • a community: A strong community fosters interactions and encourages a willingness to share ideas. We should be creating a sense of belonging to the University of Edinburgh community with its values, structures, history and culture
  • practice: the practice is the specific focus around which the community develops, shares and maintains its core of knowledge. The students should be able to identify with the community around their particular cohort, through engaging in practice activities together. The students and teachers all need to be able to get to know each other to form this community

The interactive model can be accessed as a diagram with notes here:

Community, Campus and Cohort

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