Communities of Practice
Communities of Practice are groups of faculty who share an interest in exploring a common topic related to teaching and learning. There is no prerequisite or expertise required to join or start a community – only a desire to learn and share experience with faculty colleagues. Meetings are informal, and are scheduled by the community’s coordinator.
Some examples of community topics and activities include, but are not limited to:
- Sharing and researching best practices in teaching online
- Exploring uses of a specific technology, or set of technologies, across disciplines
- Discussing classroom civility, diversity, or other topics related to teaching and learning in all class environments
Contact Fran Kennedy with questions, or to form a Community of Practice.
Transparent Design in Teaching
Transparent instruction shows great promise for increasing the confidence, sense of belonging, persistence, and success of first-generation, low-income, and ethnically underrepresented students.
Transparency in Learning in Teaching was first offered as a topic of CTL Communities of Practice at both DCTC and IHCC. Mary-Ann Winkelmes, author of Transparent Design in Higher Education Teaching and Leadership, then gave a workshop for IHCC and DCTC faculty in January of 2020.
A short, self-paced course in D2L Brightspace now offers a guide to understanding the TILT Framework and how to use it to revise course assignments. In this short course you will be learning to apply transparent methods that focus on three concepts:
There are a number of suggested methods you can use to build transparency into the purpose, tasks, and criteria in your course learning activities. Most faculty choose to apply just one method per assignment. (Small changes, big difference!) CTL staff will monitor the course and offer feedback to all participants.
You can self-register for this course and others, such as the 2021 Course Design Institute Archive, from IHCC and DCTC D2L homepages under the Academic menu, Self Registration.
Faculty Teaching Online
Faculty Teaching Online is an informal group that meets weekly at Dakota County Technical College and monthly at Inver Hills Community College to share best practices. Together, we teach and learn skills, shortcuts, workarounds, and new technologies.
Contact DCTC coordinator Fran Kennedy, Interim Director of Teaching and Learning, or IHCC coordinator Ellen Lansky, English faculty, for more information about this community.
Faculty who have developed or are in the process of developing Gateway Mastery courses are invited to participate in this CoP. This group meets several times over the course of the semester to discuss such topics as instructional design and assessment, experiential learning, and best practices.
Contact Fran Kennedy, Interim Director of Teaching and Learning, if you are interested in developing a Gateway Mastery course.
Faculty who are new to Inver Hills Community College or Dakota County Technical College are invited to participate in the New Faculty Community of Practice. This CoP meets a handful of times throughout the instructors’ first semester of teaching to provide support and community during a time of transition.
Contact Fran Kennedy, Interim Director of Teaching and Learning, if you are interested in learning more about this CoP.
Innovative Teaching Fellowships
Faculty who have developed or are in the process of developing courses that utlize innovation of any kind, as identified by the instructor, are invited to participate in this CoP. This group meets several times over the course of the semester to discuss such topics as instructional innovation and technologies, cutting-edge pedagogies and andragogies, and emerging best practices.
Contact Fran Kennedy, Interim Director of Teaching and Learning, if you are interested in exploring innovation in your teaching practices.
Community-Based Learning Community of Practice (Inver Hills)
Faculty who currently use or are interested in adopting community-based learning (CBL) in their course(s) are invited to meet monthly during the academic year to share curriculum and assessment ideas, community connections, and best practices.
Contact coordinators Shannon Williams, Coordinator of Community-Based Learning, or Dr. Amy Zsohar, Communications faculty, for more information about this community.
Prison Education Community of Practice
This CoP will meet multiple times a semester and discuss issues relevant to teaching within Minnesota’s Department of Corrections. Potential topics include pedagogical best practices, health and safety, trauma-informed teaching, student reentry needs, facility-specific information, technology access, and other relevant topics to be selected by members.
Contact coordinator Nate Maertens for more information about this community.