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.

  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

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.

Our 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.

The above content is adapted from Etienne Wenger and the CAUCE Professional Development Committee May 2006.

Our Communities of Practice

Leadership and Strategy

Leads: Ewa Wasniewski, University of Calgary and Jessica Della-Latta, Queen's University

The Leadership and Strategy CoP refers to the strategic-level issues that impact CE leaders, including planning, politics, structure, performance, and growth. Senior CE leaders are required to have a finger on the pulse of all aspects of their operation while providing vision and setting the culture for their teams. This CoP marries all disciplines (programming, online learning, administration, IT, finance and marketing, and student service administration) at a high level and focuses specifically on issues, opportunities, and trends that impact leaders and their teams. This CoP also includes intra-university collaboration, external partnerships, and business development.

The Leadership and Strategy CoP is relevant to individuals who occupy or aspire to leadership roles, including Deans, Directors, Associate Deans/Directors, Managers, and Supervisors.

Programming and Program Management

Lead: Rod Lastra, University of Manitoba

The Programming and Program Management CoP refers to the academic and administrative leadership and oversight of continuing education courses and programs. This may include course and program development, academic quality assurance (from instructor training to curriculum/program reviews), innovations in format or assessment and course design, and intra-university affairs and collaboration. In addition, issues related to emerging trends in alternatives credentialing and non-degree nomenclature will also be included. All these academic and administrative factors are critical given how they directly related to connections with industry and professional associations, which ultimately improves strategies for program growth.

The Programming and Program Management CoP is relevant to individuals who occupy or aspire to leadership roles including Program Directors, Program Managers, Deans, Associate Deans, Directors, Managers, Instructional Designers, Learning Systems Technologists and Administrative Support Teams.

Marketing and Student Service Administration

Lead: Dan Elacqua, Toronto Metropolitan University

The Marketing and Student Service Administration CoP is aimed at those interested and involved in attracting and retaining students through new and emerging marketing trends and enrolment practices, as well as enhancing the learner experience through enrolment management and student services. We strive to develop leaders in marketing, communications and student services through the exploration of theories and trends and sharing of best practices, strategies and tactics that shape enrolment and meet institutional goals. It also explores applications and software in the categories of CRM systems, enrolment systems, student information systems, finance or enterprise systems, data analytics, artificial intelligence, student response systems and other such technologies.

The Marketing and Student Service Administration CoP will foster leadership development for individuals seeking to enhance and grow their expertise by learning from industry experts and collaborating with colleagues globally. Professionals at all levels can develop their knowledge and skills and stay relevant in the ever-changing continuing education, marketing, and communications environments.

Online Learning and Instructional Design

Lead: TBD

The Online Learning and Instructional Design CoP explores topics related to online student experiences, teaching and learning best practices, and emerging trends. This includes emerging developments and tools in educational technology, the productive use of learning management systems, innovative assessment approaches, alternative delivery and credentialing strategies, and digital pedagogy methodologies. Sharing both challenges and successes, this CoP is relevant to individuals who occupy leadership, educational and technical roles within CE units, including Deans, Directors, Associate Deans/Directors, Managers, Instructional Designers, Learning Systems Specialists, and support personnel who work in areas related to instructional design and online learning.


Interested in connecting with your CAUCE colleagues across Canada? Use the Member365 directory or CoP workspace to contact the applicable CoP Lead with your questions, comments, and ideas.

Member365 Workspaces

Our member managment system (Member365) is intended to serve as an open forum for members to network and discuss various topics of interest including, but not limited to, our communities of practice topics. All of our topics tend to thread and weave together so are of interest to all members.