What am I committing to by joining a community of practice?
Very little at first and never more than you opt in for. First, your name will go on an email list. The liaisons organizing the CoP will email members to begin discussion about the CoP’s driving questions, like:
- What are the attractions of teaching with X?
- What do we expect--or know from experience--to be the limitations?
We’ll also use the email list to disseminate relevant scholarship, CFPs, and examples of relevant classroom pedagogy at Wheaton and beyond.
The goal is simple: communities of practice exist to inspire and empower your innovative pedagogy.
Is this just an email listserv?
No! Over time, the community’s most challenging and interesting concerns will provide the basis for at least one face-to-face “tiger team” meeting called to draft a white paper for our Teaching With Technology website.
Attendance at this “tiger team” meeting is entirely optional but will ensure that your point of view on the CoP is represented in the group’s most permanent and public output. R&I will provide lunch.
I can't make my community of practice "tiger team" meeting.
No problem. You’ll have a chance to comment on and help shape the draft white paper before R&I revises and posts it on the Teaching with Technology website.
We hope and expect that these groups and white papers will inspire conference presentations and articles as well as less formal means of drawing attention to the very neat stuff happening in Wheaton’s classrooms.
Is my community of practice a good place to get tech support?
Being comfortable with a technology is an essential part of using it in our teaching. R&I remains committed to helping Wheaton faculty find their comfort zone with unfamiliar technologies.
With that clear, we want remind everyone that the focus of these groups is on pedagogy rather than technical support. These communities are driven by inquiry and informed experimentation, not technical expertise.
When and if support issues arise related to CoP tools, R&I will work with affected faculty to resolve them--just like we do everyday.