Communities of Practice: Resources

CoP Facilitation & Resources

Planning, Facilitation, & Resources

The information below includes a description of the annual cycle for Communities of Practice, the Action Plan Template, and workshops available for CoP development and facilitation.

Annual Cycle

The Community of Practice program at Harper has an annual cycle that guides CoPs to create shared ownership for their collaborative learning experiences and ensure that learning translates into action by outlining planned assessment efforts and defining the group’s approach to sharing their work.

Action Plan-tasia: Fall Semester (Beginning of September)

CoP Facilitation & ResourcesThe cycle begins with each CoP presenting an Action Plan draft to the Academy through a brief presentation and discussion at Action Plan-tasia in the fall (September). Plan-tasia offers each group 10 minutes to share their ideas and 5 minutes for discussion. This format allows Academy leaders to provide feedback on each CoP’s Action Plan and consider any funding requests. As part of the improved action planning process, each CoP will also have the opportunity to identify a workshop that meets their needs and schedule it with the Academy for their group. New CoPs begin with “CoP Formations: Establishing Roles and Norming,” and continuing CoPs choose from “Aligning Action Plans and Agendas,” “Productive Discord in Discourse,” “Measuring Impact through Action Research,” or indicate the need for a custom workshop topic. Focused professional development provides an opportunity for each CoP to receive quality support for their experience as they implement, assess, and disseminate their learning.

 

Share-ousel: Spring Semester (End of April)

CoP Facilitation & ResourcesAt the end of the cycle, the annual Share-ousel in the spring (April) provides all CoPs an opportunity to showcase their work for the year through a poster session in which attendees rotate around the room at timed intervals and and give and receive feedback on one another’s ideas and artifacts through a feedback grid. This event includes lunch and music and offers the CoPs a chance to celebrate their work and continue to generate and refine ideas with their colleagues.

Action Plan Template

Each Community of Practice should work together to develop an annual Action Plan that includes members, shared interest statement, goals, project description, action steps, and resource requests.

This action plan will help members participating in the CoP to create shared ownership for their collaborative learning experiences and describe how that learning translates into action by outlining planned assessment efforts and defining the group’s approach to sharing their work at Harper College.

Workshops

Schedule a workshop for your CoP by contacting the Academy Chair: Stephanie Whalen, swhalen@harpercollege.edu, 847.925.6324.

CoP Formations: Establishing Roles and Norming

CoPs will explore the definition of a Community of Practice and the difference between a faculty-led shared learning experience and typical committee work. Next, groups will examine multiple texts related to Collaborative Learning Norms to consider how to maintain their CoP as safe and trustworthy space and articulate roles for group members and ways of planning and sharing the labor to best facilitate the group’s work. Then, the group will compose ideal operating procedures and norms for the optimal functioning of the group to prepare for a meaningful and enjoyable shared learning experience.

  • Date: Scheduled individually with each CoP
  • Time: 1.5 hours
  • CEUs: 0.15
Aligning Action Plans and Agendas

Making our Community of Practice meetings meaningful and productive are important to our members. Explore recommended strategies for effective planning and facilitation of CoP meetings and projects. Come learn what has worked best for our CoP groups in the past as well as what recognized thought leaders on social learning groups and project management advise for making the most of your time together. CoPs can work together to create a regular agenda template and/or a timeline for project tasks depending upon their needs.

  • Date: Scheduled individually with each CoP
  • Time: 1.5 hours
  • CEUs: 0.15
Productive Discord in Discourse

Communities of Practice are often groups in which members are passionate about the work. A variety of perspectives make our discourse more enriching and advance our work; discussions can become strained or heated when members are operating from different frameworks. Welcome discord into your group to strengthen discourse by establishing a shared understanding of its value and adopting strategies that can make CoP meetings supportive spaces for academics to utilize differing perspectives to synthesize deeper understandings. Groups will articulate norms around responding to one another in constructive ways when discord arises that can be used in spaces across campus.

  • Date: Scheduled individually with each CoP
  • Time: 1.5 hours
  • CEUs: 0.15
Measuring Impact through Action Research

Learn how to maximize your CoP’s shared learning experience by incorporating methods from Action Research into your plan. Most CoPs have elements of Action Research in their annual action plans but may benefit from support in creating a more streamlined and complete action research process. This session will allow your CoP to identify aspects of action research you already have in your plan as well as any gaps that may exist and assist you in creating a more comprehensive research plan.

  • Date: Scheduled individually with each CoP
  • Time: 1.5 hours
  • CEUs: 0.15
Custom Workshop

Develop a custom workshop in collaboration with Academy staff that meets your CoPs instructional design, technology, or other specialized needs.

  • Date: Scheduled individually with each CoP
  • Time: 1.5 hours
  • CEUs: 0.15

Resources

  • CoP Definitions: This two page document provides quick definitions for Communities of Practice.
  • CoP Training: Slide deck from Communities of Practice training session at Harper College, Saturday March 11, 2017. Presented by Jennifer Whetham, Bevyn Rowland, Christie Knighton and Sally Heilstedt.
  • The Role of Facilitators in Faculty Learning Communities: The role of the facilitator in faculty learning comunities: Paving the way for growth, productivity, and collegiality. Ortquist-Ahrens, L., & Torosyan, R. (2009). Learning Communities Journal, 1 (1), 29-62.
  • Touchstones for Creating Safe Spaces: The Courage to Teach Guide for Reflection and Renewal by Parker J. Palmer and Megan Scribner (John Wiley & Sons, 2007)