Communities of Practice in the Faculty of Science
Laboratory Instruction – Next meeting: TBD
Contact Tiber Reardon
What is a Community of Practice?
A Community of Practice (CoP) is a group of people who share a common concern, a set of problems, or interest in a topic, and who come together to fulfill both individual and group goals1. Communities of Practice in the Faculty of Science connect faculty and instructors from across our nine departments, allowing for regular sharing of knowledge, expertise, ideas, and resources. They serve to foster continuous growth and improvements, providing an opportunity for peers to share best practices, promote increased awareness, and create new knowledge within the larger community.
What is involved?
Each CoP differs in structure, frequency of face-to-face interactions, use of online space, and method of communication. The specific activities of a CoP vary depending on the collective goals of its members, but may include:
• sharing of expertise, strategies and resources
• engaging in collective professional development
• addressing a specific challenge or issue
• advocating for a shift in teaching and learning priorities
• supporting work in special interest areas
• developing resources for the larger community
Can I create a new CoP?
If you are interested in establishing a new CoP, we can help by providing:
• advertising on the FoS website
• an online, shared learning space
• space for face-to-face meetings
• facilitation for the CoP’s first meeting to help clarify the purpose, format, activities and goals
• on-going consultations and support for the community coordinator(s)
• support with the dissemination of CoP learning
If you would like to create a new CoP, please contact the Dean of Science Office for more information on available supports.
(1) Etienne Wenger, Richard McDermott, & William Snyder, Cultivating Communities of Practice: A Guide to Managing Knowledge, Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press, 2002