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Where's my parking permit?: Bringing new staff together as a learning community
The process of adaption to a new work environment can be significantly accelerated through social learning opportunities. However, contemporary trends toward corporatisation of universities are seeing diminishing social encounters and this can have significant implications for new staff. This chapter offers that Communities of Practice (CoPs) can be a practical solution toward supplementing the diminishing levels of collegiality in modern universities. This chapter out-lines the process taken to establish a CoP for new staff for a multi-campus university in Australia. Results from a 12 months review highlight the benefits of the three essential elements of CoPs, namely: ‘feeling supported’ (i.e. sense of com-munity), ‘increased total effectiveness as a staff member’, and ‘increased under-standing and awareness of university systems and process’ (i.e. building of do-main knowledge). The most enjoyable aspects identified by survey respondents were ‘the sharing of knowledge’ and ‘discussion’s (i.e. sharing practice). Three core issues emerged from the review and advice is shared to increase awareness of their potential presence and to help CoP facilitators head off potential problems. Future directions for the CoP are provided and the chapter concludes with some guidance to readers who might be interested in establishing a similar CoP.