Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning

Communities of Practice

Interested in Participating?

At this time, CETL is inviting faculty and staff to participate in two CoPs by filling out a short application. If you are interested, please click on the title of your choice to read the description and complete the application. Your application needs signatures that indicate you have shared your intent to participate and include in your performance review with your department or unit and your Dean or Supervisor.

Active Learning Spaces

Using devices that students bring (BYOD)

What is a CoP?

In general, a Community of Practice (CoP) is a group of people who share a common concern, a set of problems, or have some interest in a topic and who come together with a facilitator to fulfill both individual and group goals (Etienne Wenger, Richard McDermott, & William Snyder, 2002). At SCSU, Communities of Practice are groups of faculty and staff who commit to regularly scheduled seminars on a focus area in teaching and learning followed by actions such as planning and trying out the techniques that are learned.

Objectives and Expectations for CoPs

Objectives of a CoP would include:

1) Exploration and study of theoretical and practical perspectives on the topic

2) Piloting of short term or semester-long activities in classes or in our broader work with students

3) Reflecting upon individual and collective experiences

In the end, CoPs will be expected to share their learning, their activities and their reflections at CETL’s Annual Teaching and Learning Fair during Fall Convocation in a poster presentation. CoPs are different from Faculty and Professional Learning Communities in their expectations. CoPs, however, may develop into FLCs at any time during or after their existence and result in the scholarship of teaching and learning through more rigorous study. CETL will provide scheduling support and refreshments for the CoP seminars as well as a small budget for books, software and other materials.

Participation in a CoP counts in the “Professional Development/Continued Study” Area 3 of the IFO/MnSCU Contract. If you make changes to your teaching based upon these discussions, it may count in Teaching (Area 1) of the Contract. For all other bargaining units, the work will count in the performance review as appropriate.


Etienne Wenger, Richard McDermott, & William Snyder, 2002).Cultivating Communities of Practice: A Guide to Managing Knowledge (Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press, 2002.