Community of interest

The educational technology and digital learning wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
The printable version is no longer supported and may have rendering errors. Please update your browser bookmarks and please use the default browser print function instead.



Weak definitions of community of interest exist in politics, law, telecommunications, etc:

  • “a group of people that can be identified by common social, political, economic, or ethnic similarities.” (VoteJustice, 17:14, 6 July 2006 (MEST)).
  • Many items can be considered as "Community of Interest." Such as a city, closely located cities, a neighborhood, a business with multiple locations, government agencies that serve a wide area (not just one entity, ie, county sheriff department), or other agencies/businesses with multiple locations. Basically, it involves Common Interests and Common Needs. (AT&T Consumer Information Glossary, 17:14, 6 July 2006 (MEST))

Somewhat stronger definitions include some form of interaction.

  • “A community is a group of people who form relationships over time by interacting regularly around shared experiences, which are of interest to all of them for varying individual reasons.” (What is community?, 17:14, 6 July 2006 (MEST))

Typically, a promotion (class) in a typical Swiss university can be considered a community of interest. So can the University's or school's faculty members.

But many authers make a distinction between community of interest and stronger forms like communities of practice.

  • “Members of a community are informally bound by what they do together-from engaging in lunchtime discussions to solving difficult problems-and by what they have learned through their mutual engagement in these activities. A community of practice is thus different from a community of interest or a geographical community, neither of which implies a shared practice.” (Wenger, 1998)

See also: community of practice, community of learning, task-based community.


Wenger, Etienne (1998). Communities of Practice: Learning as a Social System. Systems Thinker, June 1998.

See also fr:Communauté d’intérêt