Document Type

Conference Object

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Higher Education | Higher Education and Teaching | Scholarship of Teaching and Learning | Teacher Education and Professional Development

Publication Details

This conference paper was presented at the Irish Academy of Management Conference, held at Queens University, Belfast, 30 August - 1 September 2017, proceedings available online:


There is considerable evidence that the development of Communities of Practice (CoP) in education results in improvements in teaching and learning. The reality far too often, however, is that academics remain isolated in their practice with a culture of individualism rather than collaboration the norm. Adopting a case study approach, this research explores the perspectives of academic staff in one department in Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) on CoP. Specifically, the research explores how communities of practice might develop in a third level teaching environment; the type and nature of communities of practice that might develop and if those communities of practice have a resulting impact on teaching and learning. The findings indicate that not only is there an enthusiasm for collaboration and the development of CoP, but that moreover is something that would be welcomed by staff in the department. The research concludes that a significant opportunity now exists to stimulate and support the development of CoP among educators; a move which would have the twofold benefit of both motivating staff and enhancing the student experience.