Community learning: member's stories about their academic community of practice

McDonald, Jacquelin and Collins, Pauline and Hingst, Raymond D. and Kimmins, Lindy and Lynch, Bernadette and Star, Cassandra (2008) Community learning: member's stories about their academic community of practice. In: 31st HERDSA Annual Conference: Engaging Communities (HERDSA 2008), 1-4 July 2008, Rotorua, New Zealand.

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Communities of practice (CoPs) are generally endorsed in higher education, but there are few examples of successful communities within the Australian higher education context. This paper articulates the experiences of members of a Faculty community of practice as they share their stories about collegial support, fellowship, inspiration, problem-solving, essential administrative backing and cheese! The stories reflect the response of a group of academics to the development of a community of practice around learning and teaching within the business faculty of a small, regional Australian university with a diverse student cohort of domestic and international on-campus and external students. We argue that CoPs provide a number of key professional supports for academic staff: real communication and ongoing dialogue across institutional barriers; a sense of trust required to open up a safe place to share common challenges and enable social learning; support and professional development for course leaders; and a model of strategic thinking and strategic action in a changing institutional environment.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: No evidence of copyright restrictions on web site.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Business - School of Accounting, Economics and Finance
Date Deposited: 19 Jun 2008 03:15
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2014 04:06
Uncontrolled Keywords: community of practice model; higher education; story telling
Fields of Research : 13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130313 Teacher Education and Professional Development of Educators
16 Studies in Human Society > 1608 Sociology > 160809 Sociology of Education
13 Education > 1301 Education Systems > 130103 Higher Education
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9304 School/Institution > 930402 School/Institution Community and Environment

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