Students in class listening to instructor

Communities of Practice

What is a Community of Practice?

A community of practice (CoP) is a group of practitioners who share a common concern, a set of problems, or an interest in a topic and who come together to share resources and ideas, build connections, solve problems, and create collective knowledge that directly impacts their practice.

There are four basic types of communities:

  • Helping Communities: provide a forum for community members to help each other with everyday work needs.
  • Best Practice Communities: develop and disseminate best practices, guidelines, and strategies for their members’ use.
  • Knowledge Stewarding Communities: organize, manage, and steward a body of knowledge from which community members can draw.
  • Innovation Communities: create breakthrough ideas, new knowledge, and new practices.

Unlike committees or working groups, communities of practice are faculty-driven development opportunities that create a space for instructors to engage in meaningful and productive reflection on their teaching and classroom experience. Members co-create a collegial and supportive environment with shared ownership for the purpose, value, and outcomes they hope to achieve. Learn more about communities of practice

Communities of Practice at COD

Communities of practice are open to all COD employees. Propose a new community of practice or contact the Faculty Chair of Professional Development at

To join an existing community of practice, contact the facilitator listed below or complete the registration form (COD login required).

Current Communities of Practice

Building Bridges: Integrated Support for Gateway Writing

The purpose of our Community of Practice is to support College of DuPage’s students in their preparation for and success in English 1101: Composition I and English 1102: Composition II, our two gateway English courses. This proposed community of practice would create space for faculty across Developmental English, English Language Studies (ELS), and Composition Studies to collaborate in centering equity and actively working towards removing barriers for marginalized students in our writing classrooms. We also want to invite staff from the Learning Commons, the Office of Access and Accommodations, Counseling and Advising, and any other departments and divisions who want to collaborate in centering equity and actively working towards removing barriers for marginalized students in our writing classrooms. Join the Building Bridges Community

Facilitators: Jill Grauman

Exploring A.I. For Better or Worse

To explore the uses for A.I. in academia, to learn how to detect its use by students, and to learn how to steer students to use it ethically. Join the Exploring A.I. Community

Facilitators: Bob Hazard and Jarret Dyer

Improving Student Resilience and Success through Character Strengths, Self-Regulation, Coping Skills, and Metacognition

Intended as an Innovation Community, we hope to learn about, develop, and implement strategies to help students learn skills for overcoming the stress and anxiety they are facing in school, work, and life. Psychological science has discovered a number of candidate principles and strategies that can help, and recent research has begun to test the effectiveness of interventions in the areas listed in the title of the Community of Practice. Join the Improving Student Resilience and Success Community

Facilitator: Ken Gray

Inclusive Pedagogies

Inclusive pedagogies are teaching approaches that prioritize diversity, equity, and accessibility, ensuring all students feel valued, engaged, and supported in their learning. The Inclusive Pedagogies Community is open to COD instructors interested in discussing, sharing, and developing strategies, resources, and best practices that foster inclusive learning environments, address diverse student needs, and promote equitable educational outcomes. Join the Inclusive Pedagogies Community

Facilitator: Jenn Kelley

Promoting Civic Engagement

We would like to form a dedicated group to strategize methods for building a stronger civic engagement strategy at COD. How do we integrate civic engagement strategies into the classroom since research shows that civic engagement has a positive effect on academic engagement? Research has found that civic engagement activities, when designed well, are associated with increased graduation rates and learning at community colleges (and K-12 and four year schools as well) (Astin and Vogelgesang 2006; Bridgeland, DiIulio, and Morison 2006; Prentice and Robinson 2010). We want to use this Community of Practice to design these activities and to strategize a longer term strategy for COD with respect to civic engagement. Join the Promoting Civic Engagement Community

Facilitators: Maureen Heffern Ponicki

Contact Information

Faculty Chair of Professional Development
(630) 942-2383
Student Resource Center (SRC), Room 1107

Learning Technologies
(630) 942-2490
Berg Instructional Center (BIC), Room 3401

Adjunct Faculty Support
Berg Instructional Center (BIC), Room 2051

Employee Development Center
(630) 942-3805
Student Resource Center (SRC), Room 1105/1107