A Significant Impact: A Grassroots Community of Practice
To determine the effectiveness of the Instructional Technologies and Learning Spaces Special Interest Group (SIG), a study was planned for the 2016–2017 academic year. An anonymous attitudinal survey was designed to help researchers determine the following: if the SIG webinars were useful to their teaching practice; if the participants had positive experiences in the webinars; what participants gained through webinar participation; if the webinar format was easy to use; if the participants intended to continue participating in future SIG offerings; and what gaps in SIG programming might exist. The paper aims to discuss these issues.
This mixed method study examines the attitudes of faculty who participated in events hosted by a SIG that was used to support faculty development for the fourth largest system of two-year colleges and four-year universities in the USA.
Results of the study indicate that the methods used by the SIG were well-received by faculty across the state and that the programming was found to be valuable and helpful in informing their pedagogical practice, particularly in online environments.
Given the subjective nature of this study (i.e. mixed methods), some caution should be taken when interpreting the results.
This paper provides insight into a potential method of providing high-quality professional development to faculty at multiple institutions or across large geographic distances, including adjuncts and teaching assistants.
Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education
O’Callaghan, R., King, H. & Miller, C.L. (2020). A significant impact: A grassroots community of practice. Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, 12(5), 943-956. https://doi.org/10.1108/JARHE-07-2019-0181
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