What is a community of practice?
According to Etienne and Beverly Wenger-Trayner, communities of practice are “groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.”
There are three basic criteria for membership in a community of practice, including a shared domain of interest, a community or group of people who communicate with each other and engage in joint, sustained activities, and the practice, or development of a shared repertoire of knowledge and expertise through experiences, stories and tools. Finding value in the interactions and developing one’s sense of identity are common themes for community members (Wenger, McDermott & Snyder, 2002).
Some of the possible activities of a community of practice for research on global engagement include, but are not limited to: critical reflection on extant scholarship; mapping existing knowledge and identifying gaps; linking evidence to practice; showcasing “best practices”; identifying possible collaborative opportunities; discussing strategies for scholarly productivity across life ages and stages; mentoring students.
For 2017-18, faculty and faculty/staff teams have the opportunity to apply for small grants to develop research on global engagement, working within one of two communities of practice –mentoring undergraduate research in global contexts and cultural humility.