Communities of Practice

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Communities of Practice (COP) are intentionally focused on faculty working together to change their teaching. They are short-term and aimed at only one aspect of the instructional practice. Each semester, the TEACH Center chooses a theme for the Communities of Practice and invites interested faculty to engage in an initial learning kick-off meeting, participate in a Canvas shell with teaching strategies and resources, work with a Teaching Teammate to modify one lesson/policy, and present their work at a TEACHing Showcase at the end of the semester.

According to one faculty learner, Communities of Practice are, Like an extended conversation at the water fountain – an opportunity to exchange ideas and learn from each other.

Please join us!

Fall 2023 Topics

The Communities of Practice will focus on Inclusive and Equitable Teaching Practices (English & Math Focus) and Practicing Situational Fairness.

Students' lives are a diverse set of experiences. How can we practice situational fairness and still maintain an academic environment? Join us in this CoP where were investigate what it means to allow students to submit work beyond the deadline, re-take exams, and engage in deep learning in a safe classroom environment.

This community of Practice will be focused on helping faculty engage specific, research-based practices to be more inclusive and equitable. Participants will engage in a data-investigation, complete an 8-week Canvas course, learn with fellow West Valley faculty in a CoP, and present one of their newly learned strategies at the TEACHing Showcase. The fall CoP will focus on Math and English faculty and the spring CoP will be open to all faculty.

Past Topics
  • Assign and Assess Early and Often
  • Careers in the Classroom
  • Cognitive Coaching
  • Culturally Responsive Teaching in Art and Design
  • Empathy in Education
  • Equitable Assessments in Biology
  • Making Moments that Matter for Students
  • Problem-Based Learning
  • Situational Fairness
  • Transformative Teaching

For more information on each Community (including dates and times), please check out our Communities of Practice archive page.

Frequently Asked Questions

A community of practice is a semester-long, or short-term, commitment to a community of faculty who are focused on actively changing one aspect of their instructional practice.

Besides being a wonderful opportunity to work with your colleagues on a specific lesson, it can count for hours of FLEX, or can contribute to your PG&D project (pending committee approval), or associate faculty can apply for a stipend (up to 20 hours, depending on the COP). There is a limited number of stipends available. You will be notified before All College Week if you have received a stipend.

No, the COPs are open only to faculty who have a contract to teach at WVC that same semester. Please watch for future COP opportunities!

Not as much as you think! When you join a COP, you agree to:

  • Participate in an initial Launch Party and connect with your Teaching Teammate (a fellow faculty member in the program who will be your partner as you both modify/create ONE lesson).
  • Week 2-10 of semester: Meet with Teaching Teammates to solidify the lesson creation that you began working on together in the initial Launch Party. REMEMBER: You each only create/modify one lesson!!!
  • Week 6-11 of semester: Teach the lesson/Publish the module and observe your Teaching Teammates teaching their lesson or review their published module, including assignments, using the 2+2 Observation protocol (2 compliments/2 suggestions or questions for discussion).
  • Week 13 of semester: Present your lesson and your reflection to the wider community at the incredibly supportive and engaging Teaching Showcase.

Still Not Convinced?

Here is what your faculty colleagues said about their experiences in a COP:

Even though I'm at the end of my teaching career, but I'm still very excited to join the group to motivate myself in adopting new pedagogy; so to me "Never too late to transform!

Math Faculty Member

I joined the {community of practice} not really knowing what to expect, or really anticipating getting anything substantive out of it. Was I wrong! It was a wonderful experience working with my colleagues, hearing their feedback, offering my own, and ultimately growing as an instructor from this experience. I would highly encourage all faculty to go through this process!

Spring COP Participant

For more information, please contact Michelle Francis.

Last Updated 5/22/23