Ways to Develop Communities of Practice
There are several ways to develop communities of practice based on transformative learning theory.

Great Teacher Seminars

Great Teacher seminars are flexible, process-oriented workshops directed by faculty themselves. The participants are the major resource for addressing issues they deem to be important. The key to these workshops is that the agenda is controlled by the participants and the participants are viewed as professionals with something to contribute. Although there is a facilitator, there are no other outside consultants. Instructions on developing and conducting a great teacher seminar can be found here.

Themed monthly forums or faculty learning communities

These are year-long series of monthly round-tables focused on an issue or problem common to a number of faculty members. After the first meeting, interested faculty members may take upon themselves to do research and present their findings to the group. Other faculty may attempt classroom experiments and report their findings to the group. For helpful ideas on how to structure this type of activity, see Developing Faculty and Professional Learning Communities and Faculty Learning Communities.

Discussion groups or conversation circles

Usually these are unstructured groups that meet on a regular schedule. They have only one formal rule. All conversation must relate to teaching. A teacher may bring a problem or incident to the group and ask for advice. Someone else may relate something they read in a teaching journal.

Reading groups

As the name implies these are groups who read a common set of literature and discuss their opinions on what they read.

Faculty action research projects

Faculty research projects can be individual or group efforts. The goal is to identify an area of concern and develop and conduct an action research project to address it. When you involve teams of faculty, the synergy created has great potential to not only motivate faculty, but also improve student learning. Teams of faculty select a common concern, research it, and share their results with colleagues and others in seminars, presentations at conferences, and in publications. Faculty can research a concern from a number of perspectives. What do the students think? What do colleagues think? What does the educational literature say? They can also conduct classroom experiments. For more information, visit this website.