Design of an Online Community of Practice to Support an Emerging Doctoral Culture

James M. Monaghan (California State University, San Bernardino, USA)
Copyright: © 2010 |Pages: 126
EISBN13: 9781616921729|DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-876-5.ch009
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During the initial accreditation process for California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB)’s new doctorate in educational leadership, the accrediting body, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), presented the institution with a serious concern. Reviewers of CSUSB’s proposal to offer their first doctorate indicated that the institution did not have a history of a doctoral culture. The challenge was how to acculturate students into a doctoral culture in the absence of an established doctoral culture? The university proposed to leverage their track record creating and nurturing departmental online communities of practice by creating and nurturing a similar community of practice for scholars in the doctoral program. This online community of practice was intended to provide scaffolding which was similar to that which occurs in full-time doctoral programs where faculty and students regularly interact in both formal and informal settings. In designing the online community of practice, the Office of Distributed Learning built upon the expertise developed in the successful implementation of similar communities of practice for numerous departments across the campus.
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