Communities of Practice

A community of practice is an opportunity to build community and engage at the edge of your teaching and learning potential. If you have a passion for what you do and want to interact regularly with a team of colleagues around a common interest, then this is for you.

Current Communities of Practice

All of our current CoPs are led by Camosun peer faculty members. To find out more, or to talk about forming a new CoP, please contact Martha McAlister at


Find a Community of Practice event

Accessible Education

Monthly on Teams

Join us to talk about practical approaches for increasing our collective capacity to deliver accessible learning opportunities for persons with disabilities. Together we will explore the intersectionality of accommodations, accessibility and Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in post-secondary education. We seek to enhance the experience of all students by identifying and learning more about where accessibility-related barriers occur in our teaching and learning practices, and sharing ideas and expertise for removing barriers to learning.

Chair Share

Every 2 weeks on Teams

All chairs and program leaders are welcome! Feeling isolated in your role? You are not alone! Meet with other chairs and program leaders from across the college to discuss whatever is on your mind. Topics are emergent, so come with your ideas and leave feeling more energized and connected.

Flexible Learning Conversation Group

Monthly In-Person or on Teams

Are you interested in exploring flexible learning modalities, sometimes known as: multi-access, multi-modal, hybrid, or HyFlex? Join this informal conversation group—open to all employees—to explore definitions, options, and technologies, to discuss research and related provincial/national/international initiatives, and to share our goals for how we can create more flexible learning opportunities for students at Camosun. 

Indigenous Education

Monthly on Teams

This CoP is for all employees who are curious about Indigenous education and Indigenization. This is a great place to continue your learning journey alongside other opportunities such as Pulling Together or TELŦIN TŦE WILNEW-Understanding Indigenous Peoples. Each month we bring a theme forward in order to help build confidence, enable connection, and spark inspiration. Last year topics included the W̱SÁNEĆ seasonal round, authentic Indigenous voices, Indigenous veterans, and an in-person ethnobotany walk at PKOLS. Please drop-in as we explore current themes related to Indigenous education and find support and encouragement by spending time learning together.

*NEW! Interdisciplinary Education

Monthly on Teams

Are you interested in interdisciplinary education? Would you like to connect with like-minded faculty from across the college to talk about how we can increase interdisciplinary opportunities for learners? The Interdisciplinary Education (IDE) Community of Practice (CoP) is back! Join us for our first meeting in several years to discuss where we have been, and possibilities for the future. Co-facilitated by Kerry-ann Dompierre (Nursing) and Martha McAlister (CETL). Check out Interdisciplinary Education (IDE).

Mindfulness in Education

Weekly on Teams

Take a break, and support each other in a collegial environment. During this stressful time of uncertainty, it seems more important than ever to stay connected in community, and practice our mindfulness using guided meditation.

*NEW! Student Support Staff Exchange

Monthly on Teams

This CoP brings together staff in student support positions from around the college in a peer-led space to explore matters uniquely related to these roles. Discussions will emerge from the interests and needs of the group in a confidential and collaborative forum with opportunities to connect with various college services. Topics may include: current practices, challenges and successes, student-centered strategies, work-related questions, and college supports. Come be a part of a college-wide group to learn with and from each other.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Monthly on Teams

This is a time to meet as an inter-disciplinary group of faculty with common challenges and passions for teaching and learning. We can learn so much from each other! Come and share ideas and inspiration around effective classroom strategies, assessment, marking, rubrics, engaged learning, supporting students with different learning needs, and any other topics that arise through collegial conversation. 

Writing/Research Peer Support Group

Bi-weekly In-Person or on Teams

All writers and researchers welcome! Are you working on a grad degree or a research project? Undertaking academic projects while working can be enriching, but also isolating and sometimes overwhelming. This support group provides a space where colleagues can get together on a regular basis to discuss their projects, set goals and deadlines, and hold each other accountable.

What is a Community of Practice?

Groups of people who share a concern or a passion

Community of practice is a term coined by Etienne Wenger (1998) to define groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do, and want to interact regularly to learn how to do it better. These professional learning communities have been a popular approach to teacher development, involving educators in collaborative, caring, inclusive, critical reflection on practice (Stoll & Seashore Louis, 2007). They have been shown to have positive effects on teaching practice and student learning (MacDonald, 2001).

Key principles in effective communities of practice

Some of the key principles in effective communities of practice include deep mutual respect, collective responsibility, a culture of openness, an inquiring mindset, trust and shared purpose (Stoll & Seashore Louis, 2007). Some of the broad expectations are that it is voluntary, structured, goal-oriented, interdisciplinary, safe and supportive (Furco & Moely, 2012). The premise is that innovation can be nurtured through exposure to multiple perspectives in dialogue, and through putting aside previously held assumptions.

Build community and promote scholarship

A community of practice is an opportunity to build community and promote the scholarship of teaching and learning (Cox & Richlin, 2004); it is a chance to actively negotiate the meaning of teaching and participate in revising the tools we use (Tagg, 2003); it is a team of colleagues engaged in conversations that have the potential to transform education (Palmer & Zajonc, 2010). In their book The Heart of Higher Education, Parker and Zajonc call on faculty to engage in dialogue about the deeper meaning and purpose of education as a way to awaken our individual and collective capabilities.


Contact Martha McAlister at