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Finding Community in Learning: Encouraging Group Learning and Cohesiveness in the Workplace

Description

This action research project centered on a group of instructional technology professionals who provide support to instructors at a public university in the United States. The practical goal of this

This action research project centered on a group of instructional technology professionals who provide support to instructors at a public university in the United States. The practical goal of this project was to increase collaboration within the team, and to encourage alignment of the team’s efforts in relation to the university’s proposed redesign of its general education curriculum. Using the communities of practice perspective as a model for the team’s development, participants engaged in a sixteen-week activity in which they studied and discussed aspects of the proposed curriculum, and then used that knowledge to observe classes and compare the extent to which classroom pedagogy at the time aligned with the aims of the proposed curriculum. This qualitative action research study then explored how the team used these experiences to construct knowledge and the extent to which the group came to resemble a community of practice. Additionally, this study explored the changes that took place in the group’s capacity to interpret instructional environments. The first major finding was that the group’s identity changed from being one characterized by relationship management with their clientele to one that aligned with the institution’s instructional priorities and could be projected into the future to devise coordinated plans in support of those priorities. A second major finding was that the team developed a group-specific language and a rudimentary capacity to interpret instructional environments as a group.

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Date Created
  • 2019