The Evolution of a Community of Practice in a Private University in Saudi Arabia

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  • Title: The Evolution of a Community of Practice in a Private University in Saudi Arabia: Mentoring and Peer Support on Teaching and Learning in Higher Education
  • Author(s): Orchida Fayez Ismail , Hala Ismail
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: The Learner
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Adult, Community and Professional Learning
  • Keywords: Teaching Certificate, Mentoring in Higher Education, Peer Support, Community of Practice, Mentee-Driven Approach
  • Volume: 25
  • Issue: 1
  • Year: 2018
  • ISSN: 2328-6318 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2328-6296 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2328-6318/CGP/v25i01/25-35
  • Citation: Fayez Ismail, Orchida , and Hala Ismail. 2018. "The Evolution of a Community of Practice in a Private University in Saudi Arabia: Mentoring and Peer Support on Teaching and Learning in Higher Education." The International Journal of Adult, Community and Professional Learning 25 (1): 25-35. doi:10.18848/2328-6318/CGP/v25i01/25-35.
  • Extent: 11 pages

Abstract

The study represents a case study of a mentoring and peer support initiative at Prince Sultan University in which faculty members enrolled in a post-graduate teaching and learning certificate in collaboration with the Higher Education Academy (HEA-UK). It examines the different dynamics of the mentoring program, its implications on teaching and learning, and its effectiveness in creating and evolving a community of practice whose members can work together to support each other as well as other faculty members. The results of a mentee-driven initiative in which mentees helped shape their mentor/mentee relationship offer insight into the implementation of such programs. The study focused on the perceptions of the mentors as well as the faculty members regarding the impact and usefulness of such programs on providing faculty members with different forms of support and examines the different ways mentoring can help faculty members in the process of teaching and learning. The study utilized a mixed-method approach in which surveys and interviews analyze the perceptions of two groups (two cohorts) about the program. The findings revealed the different concepts mentees had about mentoring, its effectiveness in dealing with the challenges of their career, and its impact on enhancing teaching and learning practices. The study concludes with the details contributing to the success of the mentoring experience in the hope that other institutions can adopt mentoring as part of their professional development plan and that the key aspects published in the study can contribute to the discussion about mentoring in higher education instigating further research.