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Center for Teaching & Learning

Readings about Communities of Practice

This annotated bibliography concerning communities of practice, or faculty learning communities, was the basis for a presentation at the SACSCOC Annual Meeting in 2016 entitled Faculty Learning Communities, Communities of Practice. The presenters were Lesley Bartlett and Margaret Marshall of the Office of University Writing at Auburn University.

Hyperlinked titles in blue lead to articles that are readily available in the Library's online services. 


Addis, E. A., et al. (2013). Implementing pedagogical change in introductory biology courses through the use of faculty learning communities. Journal of College Science Teaching 43(2), 22-29.

Describes approach and success of using faculty learning communities to change approach and curriculum in introductory biology courses.

Cambron-McCabe, Nelda H. (2003). Rethinking leadership preparation: Focus on faculty learning communities. Leadership & Policy in Schools 2(4), 285-298.

Describes the power of conversation in shaping faculty learning and creating stronger leaders for educational administration and change.

Cervato, C., et al. (2015). It takes a village to make a scientist: Reflections of a faculty learning community. Journal of College Science Teaching, 43(3), 22-29.

Study of approach to including undergrad research in science labs and the faculty learning community that supported this approach.

Cox, M. D. (2013). The impact of communities of practice in support of early-career academics. International Journal for Academic Development, 18(1), 18-30.

Reviews the history and research on impact of faculty learning communities on early career faculty, including greater rate of tenure, more satisfaction as part of community, more interest in teaching.

Herman, G. L., & Crowley, L. (2014). Using Faculty Communities to Drive Sustainable Reform: Learning from the Strategic Instructional Initiatives Program. Proceedings of The ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, 1-9.

Links faculty participating in learning communities to academic achievement and habits like persistence for their students

Jetton, T. L., Cancienne, M.B., and Greever, B. (2008). The evolving roles of faculty learning communities: A university/high school literacy partnership. Theory into Practice 47(4), 3-19.

Demonstrates impact on student learning from a university/high school literacy-focused faculty learning community.

Kelly, R. (2014). Using Faculty Learning Communities to Support Program-Level Assessment. Academic Leader, 30(11), 4.

Describes and provides curriculum for a faculty learning community that supports program-level assessments.

Mullen, C. A., Hutinger, J. L. (2008). The principal's role in fostering collaborative learning communities through faculty study group development. Theory into Practice, 47(4), 276-285.

Describes and provides data from a faculty learning community for principals and their ability to then foster collaborative learning for other teachers.

Nadelson, L. S. (2016). The influence and outcomes of a STEM education research faculty community of practice. Journal of STEM Education: Innovations & Research, 17(1), 44-51.

Study of impact of faculty learning communities across multiple years and participants found consistent impact on awareness of STEM education research, increased awareness and exploration of teaching practices, and increased collaborations with other teacher

Richlin, L. and Cox, M. D. (2004). Building Faculty Learning Communities. New Directions for Teaching and Learning. Spring 2004(97).

An edited collection of 14 articles focused on faculty learning communities, including origins, assessment, how to promote participation, and how to support specific pedagogical strategies and address specific needs. Needs of beginning and experienced faculty considered, along with practical advice about setting up and conducting communities.

Smith, T. R., McGowan, J., Allen, A. R., Johnson, I. D., Dickson, J. A., Najee-ullah, M.A., & Peters, M. (2008). Evaluating the Impact of a Faculty Learning Community on STEM Teaching and Learning. Journal of Negro Education, 77(3), 203-226.

Demonstrated effectiveness for both faculty and students of faculty learning communities that included faculty of different disciplines, ranks, and genders.

Wagner, J. M., Fleming, A. E., Moynahan, K. F., Keeley, M. G., Bernstein, I. H., & Shochet, R. B. (2015). Benefits to faculty involved in medical school learning communities. Medical Teacher, 37(5), 476-481. 

Study from med school use of faculty learning communities showed increased sense of community and therefore greater satisfaction and increase in skill level for these teachers.