Task-based community

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A task-based community is a group of people that come together to solve a common problem. It is goal oriented. It is usually put together by those who desire a that pre-defined goal such as a learning outcome or solution to a problem be achieved. They tend to exist during the task and usually disband once the goal has been attained.

Distinctions between different types of communities of learning are not always clear. Some task-based communities can evolve into a community of practice and a members of a community of practice can form a sub-group to focus on a specific task.

The distinction between a task-based community and a community of interest is even murkier. For Fischer a CoI (community of interest) implies working together towards a common goal.

CoIs are characterized by their shared interest in the framing and resolution of a problem. CoIs often are more temporary than CoPs: they come together in the context of a specific project and dissolve after the project has ended.

This is more in line with the definition of a task-based community given above. For Fischer a task-based CoI is more heterogeneous than a CoP, often bringing together people from different CoPs. This presents difficulties in communication because of the boundaries existing between CoPs. Brokering, boundary objects and boundary interactions can facilitate understanding and learning across boundaries.

Others definitions seem to stop at CoIs sharing a common interest but do not have to include collaboration nor a common objective. Each member may have a different goal. The CoI page of this wiki has a more liberal definition than that given by Fischer.


  • Gerhard Fischer. Communities of Interest: Learning through the Interaction of Multiple Knowledge Systems, Center for LifeLong Learning & Design (L3D), Department of Computer Science and Institute of Cognitive Science, University of Colorado. pdf