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

Building Communities of Practice (CoP) has been considered as one of the strategies advocated by the University Grants Committee (UGC) in 2010 to revitalise teaching and learning at both the system and institutional level. By bringing together a network of educators in higher education within and across institutions, PolyU established five thematic CoPs in 2012 based on a consultation with faculties and departments.

The five CoPs have dedicated with relentless efforts to enhancing learning and teaching at PolyU. Up to today, the CoPs have attracted more than 330 affiliated faculty members and more than 90 professional development activities have been organised. A range of scholarly output has been produced, including survey reports, conference papers, e-Learning courses and videos, which serve as useful resources for staff development. The achievements are showcased in the CoP website 2012-2016.

To sustain the impact brought by the CoPs, the CoP Steering Committee adopted a bottom-up approach and called for proposals with a view to establishing more thematic CoPs for the triennium 2016-2019 that are related to PolyU strategic plan and UGC’s strategic themes for teaching and learning development. The thematic CoPs for 2016-2019 are,

With continuous dedication to fostering a culture of peer support and collaborative professional development and to nourishing a scholarly and collegial approach to enhancing the quality of learning and teaching, the CoPs look forward to furthering innovative and sustainable improvements in teaching and learning that will benefit our teachers and students in PolyU.

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.