Good CoP: what makes a community of practice successful?

Anthony Thomas Baker, Stephanie Beames


We have established a community of practice focussed on student learning in first-year science.  It is recognised that transition, whether from school to university or other possible transitions, is an issue that is a concern for the entire sector, and this is acknowledged both at Faculty and University level. One of the factors to which we attribute the success of this CoP is that we are working within the context of a well-established set of transition pedagogies which have been strongly promoted and supported within UTS.  There is also an internal grants scheme that provides small amounts of funding for initiatives aimed at improving transition and engagement as part of the widening participation strategy.  Another factor for the success of this group is the leadership and active engagement of a senior staff member. This CoP has not evolved organically as a grass-roots group, nor has it been commissioned from on-high.  The Faculty of Science has also recently appointed an academic developer to support course renewal and the mapping of graduate attributes, and this role includes the support of initiatives like setting up CoPs.


First-year; Faculty-wide; educational technologies; reflection

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