Communities of Practice

Facilitating Social Learning in Higher Education

  • Jacquie McDonald
  • Aileen Cater-Steel

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxxix
  2. Theoretical Underpinnings Informing Communities of Practice

  3. Research of Higher Education Communities of Practice

  4. Leadership in Higher Education Communities of Practice

  5. Communities of Practice Sustaining Professional Learning and Development

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 421-422
    2. Marina Harvey, Vanessa Fredericks
      Pages 505-523
    3. Asunción Martínez-Arbelaiz, José Miguel Correa-Gorospe, Estibaliz Aberasturi-Apraiz
      Pages 525-543
    4. Elizabeth A. Beckmann
      Pages 545-565
    5. Cath Fraser, Judith Honeyfield, Fiona Breen, Mervyn Protheroe, Victor Fester
      Pages 567-598
    6. Coralie McCormack, Robert Kennelly, John Gilchrist, Eleanor Hancock, Jesmin Islam, Maria Northcote et al.
      Pages 599-622
  6. Jacquie McDonald, Aileen Cater-Steel
    Pages E1-E1

About this book


In this book about communities of practice in the international, higher education sector, the authors articulate the theoretical foundations of communities of practice (CoPs), research into their application in higher education, leadership roles and how CoPs sustain and support professional learning. Research demonstrates that communities of practice build professional and personal links both within and across faculty, student services and administrative and support units. This book describes how community of practice members may be physically co-located and how social media can be used to connect members across geographically diverse locations. It positions higher education communities of practice within the broader community of practice and social learning literature, and articulates the importance of community of practice leadership roles, and the growing focus on the use of social media for community of practice implementation.  The multiple perspectives provide higher education leaders, academic and professional staff with the means to establish, or reflect on existing CoPs, by sharing insights and critical reflections on their implementation strategies, practical guidelines and ideas on how community of practice’s theoretical underpinnings can be tailored to the higher education context.


Cultural Issues in Tertiary Education Curriculum communities Faculty Learning Communities Higher Education Communities Intercultural Awareness Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) Organic Communities of Practice Research Supervisors facilitation in education knowledge domains leadership in education learning networks professional development in higher education professional learning communities scholarship and research social learning theory social media in education virtual communities of practice workplace learning learning communities

Editors and affiliations

  • Jacquie McDonald
    • 1
  • Aileen Cater-Steel
    • 2
  1. 1.University of Southern Queensland ToowoombaAustralia
  2. 2.University of Southern Queensland ToowoombaAustralia

Bibliographic information

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