ACUI’s communities of practice support the mission, values, and strategic directions of the Association in several ways. Communities of practice allow ACUI members to access information and resources in a specific area of interest, to participate in the creation of best practices and knowledge in these areas, and to build a network of colleagues who are passionate about the same area. Not only do these professional networks increase the connecting points of members to the Association, but the knowledge being produced by them is an intellectual asset of the Association.
Communities of practice involve three essential ingredients:
- A community of people who have something in common
- A set of issues community members are interested in
- A commitment to develop practices that help community members be more effective with the set of issues
Are you interested in starting a new community of practice within ACUI? Are you passionate about a content area of the Association? Follow these easy steps to begin:
- Identify an issue (or set of issues) that you are interested in and identify 10 people (yourself included) that are willing to help pilot the new community. One person of this group needs to be willing to serve as the community leader (for a minimum term of one year).
- Community leader should then connect with Scarlett Winters in the Central Office (firstname.lastname@example.org). During an initial meeting, she can help you understand the process for development and give you a timeline for setting up your online home.
- Pilot members work together submit a purpose statement, roster of initial members, and a list of topical categories for the community that will be used for the links and document exchange features of the site.
- Once this information is submitted, ACUI Central Office will work on creating the community of practice web page.
- Pilot members test technology on web page and work with the Central Office to begin to populate resource areas.
- Members and Central Office work together to market the new community of practice to encourage members to join.
Potential services communities of practice can take advantage of:
- Unique community of practice online home which could include:
- Community of practice forum/discussion board
- Best practices document exchange
- Links to external resources
- Calendar of events
- Development of online and in-person programming specifically for the community of practice
- Meeting times and social opportunities at the annual conference
- Access to funding for special projects designed to benefit the entire community of practice
Check out all of the ways that leaders can engage their communities of practice this year, as well as this Community Project Proposal form.