Community of Practice in the Context of the Rapid Transition to Online Learning at a Rural University in South Africa: Successes and Pitfalls
The purpose of this reflective paper is to give an account of how we managed to navigate online learning and teaching amid the COVID-19 pandemic to enhance students’ learning at a rural university in South Africa. The aim is to share our experiences on how we used community of practice as a theory to support ourselves as lecturers in designing, accessing, and engaging with online content amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, the paper details the successes and pitfalls encountered in trying to adjust to the online mode of delivery. The paper makes use of qualitative self-reflexive personal narrative inquiry. Community of practice theory and connectivist theory guide our reflections. We succeeded not only in helping each other navigate the e-learning platform but our working relationships also improved as well as our skills. Through use of community of practice and connectivism, we managed, not without difficulties, to migrate content online, to engage meaningfully with our students, and to network with other lecturers. We recommend adoption of community of practice by lecturers even beyond the pandemic since it promotes knowledge- and skill-sharing, and networking, thereby easing lecturers’ burden and fears. Furthermore, community of practice encourages scholars to share their work in the form of scholarship of teaching and learning.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in the South
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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