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User Guidelines

Cedefop e-Communities

How to join an e-Community

Platform Functions

e-Community quick user guide

Sinapse platform help

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e-Communities traditionally appear as a formal or informal grouping of individuals who share similar or complementary activities and practical experience. These communities can use the network as a tool for facilitating and distributing the construction of knowledge. The most obvious advantages are in terms of flexibility of organisation, being able to communicate without constraints of time or space, allowing a virtual meeting place everyone can attend to at their own times, habits and pace, eventually acquiring and bestowing visibility (and hence added value) to their own activities and products.

Virtual collaboration may not always be enough to promote the activities addressed within a community. It is often the case that members of a working group may need to hold periodic meetings to reinforce their social network and maintain a high level of cohesion.

How can a group of people who do similar work and want to cooperate with each other, but rarely have an opportunity to spend much time in the same place of work, be allowed to "function"? What characterises this group as a community of cooperative learning?
The question has aspects which are methodological (such as tools, methods, approaches to be used for working together), technical (which of the many technologies available are to be used), psychological (the meaning of interaction between "peers" operating in the same field but in different cultures and environments), and motivational (such as pressing for constant, sustainable participation). More in detail, the reference can be made not only to learning taking place in a co-operative way, but also to those forms of interaction in which learning is generated through the mutual, reciprocal and implicit activity of sharing knowledge that brings to the creation of new knowledge.

To find out more on the 'Creation and Development of an e-Community of Practice' click on this link to download the document produced by Exemplo - Elex, 15 January 2005.

Below you will find guidelines on how to join a community for the first time and brief description of the platform functions and how they are used.


Applying for membership to a community in 7 steps
How to join an e-Community


Visit the e-Communities webpage http://communities.cedefop.europa.eu/


Click on the name of the community you want to join


Click on the register button and enter the email address for your new account. If you are already member in another e-Community, you can use your existing account by providing the same email address.


Read the e-Community "general disclaimer" and if you accept them select "I Accept" and click on Continue


Follow the instructions on the screen and complete all the necessary fields


It is advisable to give a brief description of your profile and interest in the community in the 'Validation' section.


Click on "Validate and Join" to send your application to the virtual community Animator for review. The Animator will decide whether to accept or reject the application. In either case you will receive a notification email.


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Brief Presentation of Platform Functions

Remove the need for high-volume e-mail mailing lists and provide an automated way to centralise conversations and decisions for future reference. Discussions should result in a decision or clarification.

Library of Files  
Store and share any type of computer file: Word documents, Adobe Acrobat PDF files, software programs, video and audio files.

Store time-sensitive information such as meetings

Message Board 
Use for announcements, to encourage participation, post general comments, or draw attention to new content.

User Surveys  
Use a poll to survey some or all community members.

Read more on 'How to use the e-Community modules' in this quick user guide
or visit the Sinapse platform help page.

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