The organizers of the SPCS Pedagogy CoP include coordinators Kevin Creamer, UR CTLT; Roger Mancastroppa, SPCS AFAC and UR ASC; and Daniel Hocutt, SPCS staff and adjunct professor. The organizers facilitated discussions among a working group comprised of SPCS faculty, staff, and administrators and UR CTLT staff. The process of developing the CoP loosely followed that described in the book Cultivating Communities of Practice: A Guide to Managing Knowledge (2002, HBR Press) by Etienne Wenger, Richard A. McDermott and William Snyder.
The Domain of the Community of Practice (CoP) is SPCS adult and non-traditional student pedagogy.
- SPCS: Focused on teachers and course leaders in all divisions of the University of Richmond School of Professional & Continuing Studies
- Adult and non-traditional student: Focused on students who do not fit in the traditional, four-year residential college experience. Includes (but is not limited to) the following:
- Younger students transferring from community colleges into SPCS, both full-time and part-time
- Early- and mid-professional employees seeking to complete a degree or complete professional development
- Youth and adults seeking college and career training
- Osher members
- Those seeking a learning experience on a college campus
- Pedagogy: Perhaps more properly andragogy, the teaching of adult learners. However, we use “pedagogy” to signal the broad range of students and teaching practices throughout SPCS.
The Community of the SPCS Pedagogy CoP is SPCS faculty, instructors, and course leaders.
- Faculty: Adjunct and full-time faculty in degree-seeking programs at all levels who are actively engaged in teaching courses. Includes faculty teaching undergraduate and graduate courses.
- Instructors: Those hired, either by contract or by other arrangement, to teach non-degree classes offered by SPCS. Includes professional education and professional development programs like Beer Brewer Professional Certificate and Permaculture Design Certificate and college and career preparation classes like SAT Prep and Home-Based Business classes.
- Course leaders: Osher members, and those informally or formally contracted by the Osher Institute at UR, who lead Osher non-audit classes and programs. Generally focused on those who regularly lead classes from term to term.
- Those who support pedagogy across the university
The Practice of the SPCS Pedagogy CoP is to share best practices for adult pedagogy across SPCS.
- Enable peer-to-peer connections among colleagues
- Share best practices (and opportunities for growth) in adult pedagogy
- Develop a repository of best practices
- Enable communication among CoP members across multiple stages of involvement (from inner to outer circles)
The Strategic Intent of the SPCS Pedagogy CoP is to develop a Best-Practices Community.
- Focuses on developing, validating, and disseminating specific practices
- May include a process to verify effectiveness and benefits of practices
- Invites formally sharing documented practices for review and addition to repository