Exploring Virtual Communities of Practice in Healthcare Education
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to explore factors that influence participation in virtual communities of practice (VCoPs) within the domain of healthcare education. A year-long, content analysis of 11 simulation-based healthcare education VCoPs was used to examine the frequency of participation. LinkedIn had poor user engagement compared to independently monitored discussion forums. Qualitative feedback suggested that the unmoderated and commercial nature of the LinkedIn platform may have limited the quality of interactions. Online surveys (n=100) revealed that ease of platform use, trust in the community, direct and indirect personal benefits, self-efficacy and psychological safety were key factors affecting participation in VCoPs.