About Us > Background

The CoP journey at PolyU is now in its 2nd era after 4 years of operation. We are technically not at the infancy or coalescing stage but in fact entering a stage of growth. In order to cope with a new round of challenges (including the ongoing appropriateness of the domain name, balancing the interests of novice and experts, safeguarding the value and shared interest of each member etc.), we have established a new CoP structure to ensure sustainability and relevancy. Some key characteristics of this CoP are, firstly, the recognition and operation of sub-communities based on clearly demonstrated needs, support and track record. Secondly, while each sub-community has its own facilitator and co-facilitators and organize its own events and activities, there will also be CoP-wide meetings which involve all the key stakeholders and selective members in the CoP and sub-communities. We believe this design of this CoP with sub-communities better cater for the diversified interests of members as well as reduce the silos that would otherwise exist if separate communities were set up. With regard to the governance of this CoP, we will seek to balance control and self- determination. Entrance barriers (e.g. membership by invitation or freedom to join) will be decided by the individual sub-communities.

At this moment, we have identified the need to set up five sub-communities in this CoP based on the prevailing efforts that have been expended by colleagues on blended learning. The five sub-communities are:

(a) Learning Management Systems and tools - basically the original CoP in the past 4 years;
(b) Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and Small Project Private Online Courses (SPOCs) - a self-formed unofficial CoP riding on PolyU’s foray into MOOCs;
(c) Clickers i.e. Student Response Systems - based on the highly popular and successful Clickers project;
(d) Augmented and Virtual Reality (VR/AR) - based on a funded project with staff expertise and growing interests); and
(e) e-Assessment and grading - clearly a major hurdle that needs to be cleared for future online education to flourish.

Educational technologies are advancing rapidly so another responsibility of this CoP is to keep a watching brief of the prevalent and emerging technologies and continue to assess their relevancy and suitability for PolyU as well as offer the CoP’s expert view to stakeholders at PolyU and beyond. In essence, this CoP is a knowledge centre in learning technologies with self-learning capabilities.