With this in mind, we decided to foster sharing of experience, practice and ideas across the university in June 2014 by establishing a Community of Practice, in alignment with our strategic aims. Lave & Wenger, who coined the term “Community of Practice” to characterise a group of people sharing and developing knowledge around a common interest, state that “above all it is due to the process of sharing information and involvements within the community that the members learn from each other and have an opportunity to advance their own knowledge and skills” (Lave & Wenger, 1991). Members of the CoP for Flipped Classroom (mainly academic staff) contribute, discuss and digest flipped classroom resources and experiences, building an online (basecamp) growing library, useful for both ‘newbies’ and experienced flipped classroom practitioners. Therefore, tutors became “learners” and act as agents of change within the university, driving their own learning process and the learning experience of their students through the collaborative development of teaching and learning techniques across faculties.
The session will take the form of a standard presentation and consist of two parts. The first will explore the rationale for the CoP and engage participants in a debate on the merits of setting up an institutional community of practice as opposed to encouraging users to join existing cross-sector communities. Additionally, it will concentrate on the role of the community facilitator and/or staff developer, exploring how the power of the crowd supports this role and helps develop collaborative practice and learning within the institution. The second part will summarize activities taking place through or as a result of the participation of the CoP members by collection of informal feedback (FC coffee meetings, FC workshops) and the online COP contributions.
Session participants will be asked to draw on examples or ideas from their own experience to suggest benefits and drawbacks to these and other methods of community activity, to develop a shared appreciation of the opportunities and issues faced.
Bergmann, J. & Sams, A. (2008) “Remixing Chemistry Class,” Learning & Leading with Technology 36(4), 22–27.
Lave, J. & Wenger, E. (1991) Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation in Communities of Practice, Cambridge University Press, New York.
NMC (2014) Horizon Report 2014: Higher Education Edition. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium
Sharples, M., Adams, A., Ferguson, R., Gaved, M., McAndrew, P., Rienties, B., Weller, M., Whitelock, D. (2014) Innovating Pedagogy 2014: Open University Innovation Report 3. The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK.