Most communities of practice build in some kind of implementation check-ins during monthly online meetings. This can be as simple as a single slide asking participants to check if they are using a specific resource or strategy. This data is usually anonymous (so participants can feel comfortable answering honestly) and it provides a quick snapshot for informing planning of future webinars and alerting facilitators to possible barriers participants may be experiencing.

Online polls

The following examples were incorporated into monthly webinars to get a read on whether or not participants were using specific resources and strategies with their students

This second set of examples was designed to track how many participating schools were implementing components of a peer buddy program.

Participant sharing

Depending on how the community of practice is structured, and the expertise and comfort level of participants, it may be effective to invite one or more participants to share a few slides and speak for a few minutes during a monthly webinar. They could provide a short update of how they are using a particular strategy or resource, and how this is shifting their instructional practice and their students’ learning. These kind of mid-year check-ins not only document results but serve as inspiration and motivation for other participants.

Web postings

When a community is focusing on specific strategies or resources in a webinar, it may be helpful to invite participants to post photos and short descriptions of how they are using the strategy or resource in their own context before the next scheduled webinar.

For example, after a webinar on authentic and meaningful numeracy activities, participants in the Numeracy for All community of practice were invited to post photos and a brief description of how they were creating meaningful numeracy experiences for their students. This collection of postings was highlighted during a follow-up webinar and was repurposed for sharing on the public website.

Next… Reflections