Faculty Development as Community Building - An approach to professional development that supports Communities of Practice for Online Teaching


  • B. J. Eib University of Calgary
  • Pam Miller University of Calgary




faculty development, community building, professional development, higher education, open and distance education, community of practice, collegiality


When faculty development is viewed as an ongoing need and when we approach faculty development as a long-term, continuous effort, community building becomes a part of the process. Carefully designed faculty development approaches can facilitate and create a culture that supports a thoughtful focus on teaching, while at the same time, nurture a sense of connectedness and collegiality across the organization that is vital to continuous innovation and improvement. This paper reports on a program designed to improve the collegial culture at a higher educational organization in Western Canada. While the program was aimed at a Social Work Faculty at a research university, we believe the design can be modified and applied in other disciplines and in other environments, such as distant and open universities. We conclude with suggestions for applying our approach to faculty development in open and distance institutional contexts.

Author Biographies

B. J. Eib, University of Calgary

B. J. Eid is a faculty development and e-learning consultant. Ms Eib works for educational institutions and organizations in both Canada and the United States, including the Teaching and Learning Center and the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Calgary and the Indiana Department of Education. She delivers faculty development assistance in face-to-face, blended and distance environments.

Pam Miller, University of Calgary

Pam Miller is the Director of e-Learning and Distance Education for the Faculty of Social Work, University of Calgary. Dr. Miller is the coordinator of the Faculty's MSW Leadership in Human Services distance program. She is also responsible for professional development in the Faculty for effective integration of technology in teaching and learning. Dr. Miller teaches at the undergraduate and graduate levels in both online and blended learning environments.



How to Cite

Eib, B. J., & Miller, P. (2006). Faculty Development as Community Building - An approach to professional development that supports Communities of Practice for Online Teaching. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 7(2). https://doi.org/10.19173/irrodl.v7i2.299



Research Articles