Communities of practice, collegiality and academic practice – Telling more of the story

Green, Wendy and Hibbins, Raymond (2010). Communities of practice, collegiality and academic practice – Telling more of the story. In: HERDSA 2010 International Conference, Melbourne, VIC, Australia, (). 6-9 July 2010.

Author Green, Wendy
Hibbins, Raymond
Title of paper Communities of practice, collegiality and academic practice – Telling more of the story
Conference name HERDSA 2010 International Conference
Conference location Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Conference dates 6-9 July 2010
Publication Year 2010
Sub-type Published abstract
Language eng
Abstract/Summary Lave and Wenger’s (1991) concept of ‘communities of practice’ (CoPs) promises to address the sense of ‘pedagogical solitude’ (Shulman 1993) experienced by many academics, by offering them opportunities to work together, over time, on matters of genuine concern within their own contexts – in ways that traditional staff development programs cannot. If CoPs are to gain legitimacy as a form of academic development however, we need to address the ‘epistemological and logistical difficulties’ of evaluating their impact (McDonald & Star, 2006). As with any form of academic development, participant satisfaction only tells ‘half the story’; it does not necessarily translate into changes in the thinking and practice of teaching academics, or their students (McAlpine et al, 2008). Ideally, evaluation of a CoP should do more than provide the data necessary for securing institutional support; it should also facilitate the reflective learning of its members, and capture the negotiated process of meaning-making between the individual (with their own history and experiences), and the community (Wenger, 1998). In this presentation, we tell more of the story, about one faculty-based teaching community of practice (T-CoP) which has been evolving since 2007 (Green &Ruutz, 2008). We report on an ongoing evaluative study designed and conducted by T-CoP members, which includes a survey used periodically to gauge satisfaction and share suggestions for future developments, and in-depth, semi-structured interviews, in which individual members can elect to reflect more deeply, with one of their peers, on the T-CoP’s impact – on themselves, their students, their colleagues, and their faculty.
Subjects 130399 Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified
Q-Index Code EX
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: Institute for Teaching and Learning Innovation Publications
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Created: Mon, 31 Jan 2011, 14:21:23 EST by Dr Wendy Green on behalf of Teaching & Educational Development Institute