Communities of Practice (CoP)

The five topics listed below form our CAUCE Communities of Practice (CoP)*.

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1. Leadership and Program Management  – Lead: Kristine Collins, University of Toronto

Leadership and program management refers to the academic and administrative oversight of continuing education programs. This may include strategic level planning and decision making, team leadership, curriculum development and innovation, intra-university affairs and collaboration, partnerships and alignment with professional associations/industry, instructor engagement, business development, performance management and recruitment as well as the day-to-day administrative work that ensure CE programs are running smoothly.

2. Learning and Administrative Technologies – Leads: Richard Rush, University of Victoria and Ian Allen, University of New Brunswick

Learning and Administrative Technologies may include, but are not limited to: Applications and Software in the categories of CRM systems, Enrolment systems, student information systems, finance or enterprise systems, Learning management systems, data analytics or learning analytics systems, lecture capture, portfolio, Artificial Intelligence, student response or other learning technologies.

3. Online Learning and Instructional Design – Lead: Kristine Dreaver-Charles, University of Saskatchewan

Online Learning and Instructional Design includes topics related to experiences around all facets on online learning and the instructional design around it, emerging technologies and developments, software, applications, as well as challenges and successes of the same. This community is well suited for those who occupy leadership roles within CE units, including Deans, Directors, Associate Deans/Directors, Managers, Instructional Designers, Learning Systems Technologists or other support personnel who work in the design and development of online learning.

4. Indigenous and Decolonizing Programming – Lead: Rod Lastra, University of Manitoba

Over the past decade there has been growing recognition among educational scholars of the importance of redefining the role and relevancy of post-secondary institutions in the 21st-century. How institutions relate and respond to a changing social, cultural landscape has not only defined Canadian university mission and vision statements but has also informed strategic priorities. Indigenous achievement has been of primary institutional focus with the aim of not only fulfilling the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s mandate but also to understand the barriers faced by Indigenous peoples, particularly in relation to post-secondary education attainment. This has resulted in the recognition that investments towards more inclusive, responsive, and relevant academic programming are critical. The objectives of this Community of Practise are: a) to define the meaning and significance of Indigenization and decolonization as it pertains to post-secondary education; b) to identify common challenges and opportunities related and Indigenous programming; and c) to create and or centralize educational resources. The outcomes will be to develop a working framework that outlines how institutions can Indigenize and/or decolonize post-secondary programs.

5. Marketing, Enrolment and Student Services – Leads: Lihn Pham, MacEwan University and Meghan Clark, University of Guelph

The Marketing, Enrolment and Student Services Community of Practice will provide members with the knowledge and competences in attracting and retaining students through new and emerging marketing trends, and enrolment practices, while strengthening the student services being provided. The community will foster leadership development for individuals seeking to enhance and grow their expertise by learning from industry experts while collaborating with colleagues nationally and globally.

What are Communities of Practice?*

Communities of Practice are groups of people who share a concern or passion for something they do and interact regularly to learn how to do it better. Communities of Practice come in many forms – small to large, informal to formal, local to global. They have the following in common:

  1. Members share a domain of interest – value their collective knowledge
  2. Members engage in joint activities and discussions – learn from each other
  3. Members develop a shared repertoire of resources – tools, templates, ideas, strategies for solving problems, updates on developments

How do they form and grow?

Communities of Practice are “organic” and often voluntary in nature. Members are attracted and engaged by practical discussions of ideas, issues and lessons learned. Groups are sustained by regular interactions (e.g., meetings, teleconferences, email discussions, one-to-one networking) that are valuable and relevant.

What benefits do they offer?

The CAUCE CoP's provide an effective way for members to share ideas and approaches, problems and solutions, knowledge and insights. They offer an opportunity for new continuing educators to gain an introduction to the field and for seasoned professionals to stay informed about the latest developments. 


* Adapted from content on Etienne Wenger’s web site ( and the CAUCE Professional Development Committee May 2006.