Toward a Community of Practice
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Toward a Community of Practice Tania Siemens and Dan Udovic STEP New Grantees Meeting August 16 th , 2012. “Communities of practice ( CoP’s ) are: --groups of people (community) --who share a concern or a passion for something they do (domain) --and learn how to do it better (practice)

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Communities of practice cop s are groups of people community
Toward a Community of PracticeTania Siemens and Dan UdovicSTEP New Grantees Meeting August 16th, 2012

Communities of practice cop s are groups of people community

“Communities of practice (CoP’s) are:

--groups of people (community)

--who share a concern or a passion for something they do (domain)

--and learn how to do it better (practice)

as they interact regularly.”

-- Etienne Wenger

National regional meetings
National & “Regional” Meetings:

Opportunities for sharing…

STEP Central


Breakout Sessions

Poster Sessions

Mentorship Meetings

Plenary Speakers

Online Discussions

Working groups


Resource Libraries

Member & Project Profiles

News & Events

Virtual Meetings & Webinars

Special Topics

Presentation by experts

Synchronous interaction

Small groups of geographically dispersed members

Community Outreach

Step central cop is organized into special interest groups sigs
STEP Central CoP is organized into Special Interest Groups (SIGS)

  • The STEP Central CoP is composed of many overlapping smaller CoP’s, or Special Interest Groups

  • The these smaller CoP’s are organized:

    • By topics (e.g., project strategies - bridge programs)

    • By project role (e.g. project evaluators, coordinators)

    • By geographical area (e.g., the Southwest, New England)

  • Special Interest Groups engage though the Working Groups on

Special interest groups
Special Interest Groups:

Which one appeals to you?

Two-Year/Four-Year Partnerships

Foundational Courses

Early Undergraduate Research

Learning Communities

Project Sustainability

Recruiting and Retaining Women and Minority Students

Peer-Led Team-Learning (PLTL)

Collecting and Organizing Data

Community College Issues

Issues at Large Universities

Project Coordinator Network

Project Evaluator Network

Step central an interactive way to engage with the step community
STEP CentralAn interactive way to engage with the STEP Community!

  • Webinars

  • Facebook page

  • Interactive Member profiles

  • Blogs

  • News and Events

  • Library

  • Working groups!

Project pages
Project Pages

  • Showcase your project!

Member profiles
Member Profiles!

  • Each STEP PI, Co-PI, and their staff are members of STEP Central CoP!

    • members have full access to add comments and resources!

  • Customize your profile by favorite-ing things and selecting keywords (coming soon)

  • Your member profile tracks your interests; you will get notified of updates (coming soon)

Which keywords will you pick
Which keywords will you pick?

Undergraduate Research, Faculty development, Introductory courses, Community colleges, Program evaluation, Assessing student learning, Recruitment Learning communities, Education research, Service Learning, Underrepresented students, Minority students, Assessment, Retention, Academic advising, Peer mentoring, Peer tutoring, Career counseling, Math preparation, Undergraduate internships, Student tracking, Institutional change, Articulation and transfer issues, Educational technology, Peer-led team learning, Supplemental instruction, STEP Grantee Meetings, Cross campus linkages, Precollege development, Research on undergraduate attainment in STEM, Undergraduate student professional development, Serving and Expanding the STEP community, STEP papers

Coming soon working groups
Coming soon - Working Groups!

  • Create and join on-line collaborative working groups.

  • Designed to support Special Interest Group Collaboration.

  • Groups work together to discuss issues and develop solutions for STEP Grantees.

Ways to for step grantees to engage
Ways to for STEP Grantees to engage!

  • Moderate discussion groups

  • Blog about their project

  • Submit library resources

  • Post upcoming events

  • Curate Library resources

  • Post workshop or conference materials

  • Present a Webinar

What are the benefits
What are the benefits?

  • Gain knowledge to help you evolve your program and achieve your goals

  • Collaborative publications

  • Furthering the field

  • A place to showcase your “Highlights”

What can you expect from step central in the future
What can you expect from STEP Central in the future?

  • Help setting up your member profile page and your project page.

  • You will receive our newsletter.

  • Receive announcements of new resources (Blogs, Webinars, News and Events).

  • We will be asking for your input, ideas, and feedback.

  • We hope that you will access resources and contribute to the discussion!

Time for hands on
Time For “Hands On”

  • Walk through the log-in process

    • Your password is your first and last name, lowercase.

      • e.g. taniasiemens

  • Do a search

  • Vote for three items.

  • LIKE us on Facebook!

  • If you don’t have your computer with you, please give this a try when you get home.

Communities of practice cop s are groups of people community

LIKE” us on Facebook!

We post news and events of interest to the STEP Community

Discussion with new step grantees
Discussion with New STEP Grantees

  • What are major questions/issues/ideas to address on STEP Central?

    • Experiences/approach to 3 yr review

    • Examples of different ways to collect data

    • Evaluation strategies/tools

    • Fast way to find people doing similar things

    • A spot for questions, problem solving and suggestions.

    • Interesting articles related to retention recruitment or other important topics

    • Need to have a SIG for small-mid sized liberal arts colleges

    • Interactive tool check list of what is needed (downfalls to avoid) for you step grant. Link to resources for completing each task. Help people know where to look.

      • You could also include a personalized checklist tools.

  • Are you interested in having a mentor? – YES

    • New grantees should be involved in selecting the mentor.

Thank you
Thank You!

Please feel free to contact me with any questions!

Tania Siemens

STEP Central Project Manager


See you on STEP Central!