Professional Learning: Community of Practice

What is a Community of Practice (CoP)?

There are many ways scholars have defined a Community of Practice. In most cases, a CoP represents a group of individuals who share common goals, similar backgrounds, and experiences. These groups work together to refine their practice by learning from one another and engage in a free exchange of ideas or strategies. The college community has many CoPs but some vary in structure so the SCTL will be working on creating more opportunity for faculty/staff to engage in critical discussions pertaining to contemporary education.

This section will outline our future strategy but also contains some useful tips for external professional learning opportunities. Some of these opportunities are governed by provincial and national CoPs. We invite you to explore these opportunities as we continue working on our internal CoP framework.

SCTL Communities of Practice

Community of Practice: TBD

The SCTL is working on a structured CoP framework to enhance cross-departmental collaboration. We will be sharing more news for the upcoming term.

Community of Practice: TBD

The SCTL is working on a structured CoP framework to enhance cross-departmental collaboration. We will be sharing more news for the upcoming term.

External Professional Learning Networks

The following list includes larger Professional Learning Networks that host various CoPs that faculty/staff may wish to engage with in order to enhance their practice. These organizations tend to offer frequent webinars on teaching/learning topics in an effort to cultivate a cross-institutional CoP (on a variety of topics) amongst educators and service providers in higher education.

While some of these groups may have a corresponding college representative, these are used for overseeing membership fees and administrative functions. All SLC employees are welcome to join any of these networks but we encourage to contact the representative if you would like to learn more about the organization.

Society for Teaching & Learning in Higher Education (STLHE)

"Vision - STLHE strives to be the pre-eminent national voice, and a world leader, for enhancing teaching and learning in higher education. The Society supports research, its dissemination, increased awareness, and application of research through scholarly teaching and learning."

Open Webinars: Yes (new www.keepteaching.ca website for remote teaching)

Conference: Yes

SCTL Representative(s): André Léger

Educational Technology Committee (ETC)

The Educational Technology Committee (ETC) is a subcommittee of the Coordinating Committee of Vice-Presidents, Academic (CCVPA), and represents the colleges’ practitioner knowledge-base on matters pertaining to technology enhanced teaching and learning.

While the ETC is formally represented by a member at each college, its strength is found in the broad membership of college educators. It is a network of representatives from each of the Ontario Colleges, focused on 21st century teaching and learning practices, who are directly involved in the practice, support and applied research of technology-enabled learning.

Open Webinars: Yes

Conference: Yes

SCTL Representative(s): André Léger

Curriculum Developers Affinity Group (CDAG)

"The mission of CDAG is to facilitate collaboration and the exchange of best practices in all matters relating to curriculum which, in turn, enhances and garners expertise and provides leadership in curriculum development and sound pedagogical practices on a province-wide scale. "

Open Webinars: Yes

Conference: Yes

SCTL Representative(s): Jamie Edwards & André Léger

Teaching Professor

The Teaching Professor began as a simple newsletter in 1987 but has grown into a larger network of passionate educators sharing best practices. The website contains weekly announcements, articles, and short video summaries of teaching/learning topics. There is also an annual internal conference which is being held virtually this year.

Open Webinars: Yes

Conference: Yes

SCTL Representative(s): N/A

TeachOnline (ContactNorth)

A professional learning network has been created through ContactNorth as many educators are seeking guidance on online teaching practices. The ContactNorth organization hosts a series of free webinars for the higher education committee so make sure to review the website for more details.

There is also a great search engine to find international conferences on teaching/learning.

Open Webinars: Yes

Conference: Yes

SCTL Representative(s): N/A

Educause

"EDUCAUSE is a nonprofit association that helps higher education elevate the impact of IT.

We are a community of IT leaders and professionals working together to tackle challenges and leverage opportunities that are constantly evolving within higher education. We welcome diversity, in viewpoints and experience, and believe in the transformative power of uncommon thinking for the common good."

Open Webinars: Yes

Conference: Yes

SCTL Representative(s): N/A

Instructional Design Interest Group (IDIG)

"The vision of IDIG is to provide an open and collegial environment for instructional designers working in colleges and universities across the province to connect with each other and share best practices, ideas and meaningful information about instructional design."

Open Webinars: Yes

Conference: No

SCTL Representative(s): N/A