According to Wenger, the first characteristic of practice as the source of coherence of a community is the mutual engagement of participants. He stresses that the kind of coherence that transforms mutual engagement into a community of practice requires work and asserts that the work of "community maintenance" is an intrinsic part of any practice. Knowledge ecologies, by contrast, are characterized by independence and diversity coming from lack of mutual engagement. Rather than being forced to interact intensely with other members of a CoP, within knowledge ecology, everyone can rely on her personal knowledge network. Often, people turn to their personal relationships in order to learn and get their work done, rather than trying to get access to a well established community of mutual engagement. Consequently, people focus on forming, maintaining, and sustaining their personal knowledge networks rather than maintaining the community of practice to which they belong.
Wenger states that the second characteristic of practice as
Wenger notes that the third characteristic of practice as
Chatti, M. A., Jarke, M. & Quix, C. (submitted). Connectivism: The Network Metaphor of Learning.
Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of practice: Learning, meaning and identity.
Wenger, E., McDermott, R. & Snyder, W. M. (2002). Cultivating Communities of Practice.