Communities of Practice

The Teaching & Learning Team aims to provide an inclusive space for librarians and staff at George Mason University Libraries to grow as professionals. Our communities of practice allow for collaboration across the core areas of the Teaching & Learning Team’s work. The activities of each community range from informal discussions to round table discussions to scholarly production.

We welcome any employee of the Libraries to participate in a community of practice. Participation is at the individual’s discretion and can occur at a level the individual is capable of sustaining. If you’re a member of the larger Mason community and you’re interested in participating in one of these communities, please reach out to contact person for the group.


Student Learning Assessment Community of Practice

The Student Learning Assessment Community of Practice coordinates discussions and professional development opportunities for Student Learning Assessment. This group works to identify barriers to assessment of student learning and provide trainings on these obstacles to library instructors.

As part of this group you should expect:

  1. Workshop meetings of assessment tools for instruction with peer feedback
  2. Meetings to discuss student learning assessment best practices
    1. Reading groups to enhance knowledge of student learning assessment
  3. Updates and input on the Student Learning Assessment Plan and a place to provide feedback and receive guidance about the plan

If you are interested in participating, please contact the Student Success and Inclusion Librarian, Ashley Blinstrub at ablinstr@gmu.edu.


Conversations of an Inclusive Nature (COIN) 

Conversations of an Inclusive Nature (COIN) is a collaborative and flexible group that works to shed light on inclusive practices in library instruction. This group works to widen the knowledge base of library instructors of inclusive practices by providing professional development opportunities, group readings and book clubs, and general discussions. Any knowledge level and/or role is encouraged to participate in this community!

If you are interested in participating, please contact the Student Success and Inclusion Librarian, Ashley Blinstrub at ablinstr@gmu.edu or Christopher Lowder, Online Learning Assistant at clowder2@gmu.edu.


Online Teaching and Learning 

The Online Teaching and Learning Group is a collaborative and flexible working advisory group that identifies and addresses teaching opportunities and challenges in the digital spaces Mason Libraries occupies or should occupy. This group identifies and addresses online learning needs of Mason’s diverse student population. Primarily the group focuses on these areas:

  • Blackboard
  • Tutorials
  • Virtual Reference
  • Online Workshops/Synchronous Teaching
  • Emerging Learning Technologies
  • University-wide online learning initiatives and goals

To join this group, in whatever capacity, please contact the Online Learning Coordinator Janna Mattson at jmattso1@gmu.edu


Orientations

The Orientations Group is a collaborative, flexible and diverse working group that identifies ways to creatively market the University Library’s vision, mission, values, services, and resources to incoming students and faculty both face-to-face and online.

The group looks for creative ways to:

  • Identify and engage with incoming marginalized and underrepresented students, faculty, and departments/organizations on campus each semester during the orientation period.
  • Engage with traditional and non-traditional students (First-Year Experience (FYE), Transfer, International, and Online learning). Face-to-face includes tabling, instruction, and tours. Online includes synchronous and asynchronous content for orientation as well as virtual tours.
  • Create "living" physical and digital orientation resources to market the Libraries. 

If you are interested in participating, please contact the Teaching and Outreach Librarian, Trevor Watkins at twatkin8@gmu.edu.


Scholarship

The Scholarship Group is a collaborative, flexible and diverse working group that identifies scholarship opportunities in the disciplines of library science, information science, education and other related disciplines.

The group focuses on three areas based on Boyle’s four models of scholarship:

  1. Discovery
  2. Engagement
  3. Application

By focusing on these areas, this community of practice will provide resources to help library faculty and staff, contribute to knowledge dissemination and knowledge acquisition in their respective fields. This includes helping to maintain a Call for Papers (CFP) blog to highlight CFP’s for publication (journals and conferences); a Zotero scholarship reading list; library and information science and education datasets; and (internal and external) funding opportunities.

If you are interested in participating, please contact the Teaching and Outreach Librarian, Trevor Watkins at twatkin8@gmu.edu.


Teaching

The Teaching Group coordinates a variety of professional development activities. This includes a round table journal club, an activities workshop where library instructors pilot new learning activities and receive peer feedback, and an annual instructional workshop series.

The 2019-2020 academic year’s workshop series focuses on Universal Design for Learning principles. If you are interested in learning more or attending a workshop, please contact Kayla Morrow at kmorrow7@gmu.edu or Megan Reichelt at mreichel@gmu.edu.

If you are interested in participating in one of the other Teaching Group activities, please contact David Lemmons at dlemmons@gmu.edu.


For any additional questions about The Teaching and Learning Teams and our cross departmental communication and collaboration please feel free to contact Maoria Kirker at mkirker@gmu.edu