Community of Practice

Each community of practice takes a different form depending on the goals of the participants. They can meet during the summer months, for a semester or the entire year. Meetings can be weekly or once every two weeks. Below are descriptions of the most recent examples.

The best CoPs arise from faculty ideas. If you are interested in either joining or forming a Community of Practice around a specific topic, please contact to discuss. (NOTE: The opportunity to bring speakers from outside U-M depends on funding availability from the College.)

Previous Communities of Practice

Equitable Assessments CoP (Winter 2023)

Participants in this community of practice explored practical solutions for implementing updated, equitable assessment strategies in problem-solving engineering courses. The group explored approaches to evaluate the equity of current assessment practices, results from local CoE assessment redesign, and technology tools to enable efficient mastery-based assessment with quantitative questions.

This CoP featured multiple speakers with expertise in Equitable Assessment:

  • Natasha Jankowski (Education Consultant; Presentation titled: Equity and Excellence: Supporting Students in Teaching and Learning)
  • Heather Rypkema (Learning Analytics expert)
  • Laura Alford (Lecturer in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering – implementing equitable assessment practices) 
  • Hayley Heaton (Assessment Team Lead, CRLT)  and Stephanie Kusano (Assessment & Program Evaluation Analyst; Stanford | Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education)

Alternative Grading CoP (Winter 2022)
Participants in this Community of Practice explored alternative grading and assessment strategies that encourage student learning and growth. Topics included mastery grading, ungrading, standards-based grading, and technology-assisted grading with feedback. We also discussed the purpose of grades, the connection between grades and student motivation, as well as challenges and possible solutions to implementing alternative grading and assessment.

This CoP featured three speakers with expertise in Alternative Grading:

  • Linda Nielsen (author of Specifications Grading)
  • Robert Talbert (author of Grading for Growth)
  • Laura Alford (U-M lecturer implementing mastery grading in ENGR 101 with PrairieLearn)

Teaching in the Age of COVID CoP (Fall 2021)
This CoP provided a supportive environment for participants to explore the questions about teaching in these unusual times, including:

  • How can you best teach students during these disruptive times?
  • How have your teaching strategies been influenced by teaching remotely?
  • What is your vision for the future of teaching engineering?

In addition, this CoP included sharing results from a Skunkworks study by Millunchick and Filnelli on the effects of COVID 19 on undergraduate student socialization processes. One Guest speaker, Gavin Larose from the math department shared his approach to integrating mastery assessment into math 105 (Data, Functions, and Graphs) and math 115 (Calculus I), thereby significantly reducing the weight of exams in those courses.

Engineering 100 CoP (Academic year 2020-21)
Technical and technical communication instructors of ENGR 100 met weekly for one year to develop common goals for ENGR100, and updated the Instructor Guidelines for the course.

Labs and Design CoPs (Summer of 2020)
Faculty teaching specific types of courses met over the summer to discuss challenges and possible solutions to moving the courses online due to COVID 19.