"Thinking Together" - A Virtual Community of Practice Approach to a Graduate Certificate in Women’s Leadership Program

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Mitchell, Jennie
Pantazi, Lamprini
Hiltz, Dan
Hubbard, Eric
Phelps, Emily
In the first Saint Mary of the Woods College Community of Practice (CoP), five facilitators worked together to build the elements for a dynamic Community of Practice. Originally this CoP was scheduled as a hybrid-emersion model (with a weekend of bonding activities, 8 weeks of online, and an ending weekend of presentations and celebrations). Because of COVID-19, the team of facilitators built a comparable level of emersion experience, virtually. Every detail was considered from ice-breakers (wheel decide) to lively and creative orientations, to guest speakers who used a poling system (Mentimeter) to bring a word cloud to life, to a speaker who challenged the GCWL leaders to take a journey of self-discovery. The certificate program ended with a culminating project – a virtual poster show complete with audio, video, and Zoom breakout rooms to answer questions about their journey. In the final webinars, it was clear that this CoP was “thinking together,” a process where a CoP will mutually guide each other in a collaborative learning process.