What is Community of Practice (CoP)?

Community of Practice (CoP) is a community of people who share a common interest in a certain area, and it provides these people at different levels and of different backgrounds with an opportunity to exchange knowledge, skills, experiences, and information in this area. Through interactions, people in the community give and get support and advice in person and virtually. CoP provides a rather informal and relaxing environment where everyone can learn and develop himself or herself professionally.

CoP at PolyU

In December 2010, the University Grants Committee (UGC) published a report “Aspirations for the Higher Education System in Hong Kong”, in which UGC considered it an urgent matter to revitalise teaching and learning at both the system and institutional level. To fulfil this educational goal, UGC has decided to provide seed funding to bring together a network of outstanding educators in higher education in Hong Kong who can lead communities of practice both within and across institutions.

PolyU is dedicated to providing excellent education to our students and believes that the establishment of different communities of practice is able to make advancements in different major areas of teaching and learning, and that will benefit both our faculty and students in many different ways.

Based on a previous consultation with faculties and departments, the following five themes have been identified as areas where teaching and learning development is most needed:

For each theme, a CoP has already been established and all faculties are welcome to join. Come and visit their websites for more information about these CoPs and their memberships.

Goal and Objectives

With the ultimate goal to enhance teaching and learning across the University, our objectives are:

  • To bring together and connect our colleagues who share a common interest in enhancing teaching and learning at PolyU, and to facilitate their experience sharing and collaborative professional and teaching development;
  • To develop and promote innovative and effective teaching practices in support of the University’s strategic teaching development targets (for the 2012-15 triennium the focuses will be the refinement and review of the new 4-year undergraduate programmes and the implementation of the new PolyU Strategic Plan);
  • To foster the culture of peer support and collaborative professional development in learning and teaching; and
  • To nourish a scholarly and collegial approach to continuing teaching improvement and the scholarship of teaching and learning.

Expected Outcomes

We expect to achieve the following outcomes:

  • Building of linkages and relationships between academics and other stakeholders at PolyU to sustain exchange of knowledge, resources and expertise for collaborative improvement of teaching and learning;
  • Enhancement of CoP members’ capabilities in teaching and learning through peer learning and professional development supported by the CoPs;
  • Development, dissemination and implementation of innovations, products and tools for advancing teaching and learning practices with an impact on student learning;
  • Enhancement of the University’s policies on teaching and learning based on good experience synthesised from the CoPs; and
  • Further development of the culture of continuing professional and teaching development at PolyU, and the University’s capability as a learning organisation.