Roads to Research with Rebecca Wilson-Mah
Please join us for a Roads to Research presentation with Rebecca Wilson-Mah
- Date: October 23
- Time: noon to 1 p.m.
- Location: Castle Drawing Room
Faculty initiated communities of practice: a case study
Faculty development is defined as an individual process and a social activity in communities. In studies on faculty development, learning in communities and the process of developing collaborative relationships and groups of support are rarely the primary focus. Furthermore, studies suggest that autonomy, self-direction and specialized interests are impediments for forms of faculty professional development that are embedded in learning in communities. Communities established for the purposes of collegiality and learning, without an institutionally framed agenda are less common in faculty professional development in higher education. There is also more evidence of higher education institutions supporting faculty communities that are formally associated with specific operational or strategic priorities.
This qualitative case study explored faculty members’ experiences in three faculty-initiated and organized communities of practice (CoP) at Royal Roads University. Data collection included three focus group interviews and nine in-depth, semi-structured interviews. A thematic analysis indicated that faculty appreciated the opportunity to convene in CoPs and that learning was associated with five characteristics. The characteristics were described by faculty members as a freedom to choose whether to join and how to contribute; an engaging purpose for attending; mutual support; a collaborative and open approach to learning and sharing; and, an opportunity to slow down and take time for reflection. There were several barriers and impediments to group functioning in these informal groups and also associated risks and benefits. The findings give shape to forms of community learning that are often not noticed or invisible in our organizations.
Cookies & coffee will be provided
Research Services gratefully acknowledges the funding support of the Research Support Fund (RSF) in the development of this initiative. The RSF is administered by the Tri-Agency Institutional Programs Secretariat.