A graphic to describe the participants of a community of practice.  There are 6 core members from 4 departments and an additional 27 members from 10 departments.
Demographics of the Lab and Design CoP in the first year.

In the spring of 2021, a group of faculty who taught lab and design courses came together to share lessons learned from remote classes.  We found that we could have benefited from a community of practice (CoP) to be able to share ideas and collaboratively solve issues in our courses as we continued to adapt to changes in higher education.  At the 2022 ASEE annual conference, we presented a paper that shared the process of forming the CoP and the first year of programming.  The full paper is available from ASEE.


In the laboratory classroom, students have opportunities for design, problem solving, and exposure to real-world issues that are not usually present in traditional hand-written homework assignments. However, to operate effective laboratories, engineering departments, and colleges must address challenges such as budget constraints, space limitations, class size, and limited teaching resources. The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated these issues and added more with the need for online and remote learning experiences without sacrificing the benefits of experiential learning. Laboratory and design courses were significantly impacted by the sudden move to remote delivery during pandemic lockdowns. Instructors and departments made decisions for adapting each course based on specific needs. Throughout that time, instructors in lab and design courses identified both the successes and the continuing challenges to remote and hybrid delivery. When courses returned to in-person modalities, instructors considered what lessons learned can inform the future of experiential learning-based courses. This paper describes the development of a Community of Practice (CoP) of lab and design course instructors to develop strategies and best practices across one engineering college as we enter a new era of teaching and learning, post-COVID. This paper describes the formation of the lab and design CoP, the practical operating details of the CoP, as well as lessons learned from the delivery of workshops and meetings. In addition to providing a road map for instructors to form a similar working group at their institution, we will share knowledge gained, commonalities across course types, and a summary of answers to the questions that inspired the formation of this CoP.


Golecki, H., Reck, R., Schmitz, C., Ansell, K., TerBush, J., & Popovics, J. (2022, August), Development of a Community of Practice for Rethinking Best Practices in Post-COVID Experiential Learning Paper presented at 2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Minneapolis, MN. https://peer.asee.org/41339