Communities of Practice: Improving Chemistry Teaching through Online Collaboration

Student Author(s)

Anna Dowd

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Joanne Stewart

Document Type


Event Date



The Interactive Online Network of Inorganic Chemists (IONiC) is an international faculty community of practice whose goal is to improve teaching and learning in chemistry in higher education. One of the group’s strategies is to shift the private nature of teaching to a more public one through building supportive relationships and sharing content and practices online. The IONiC community has had a significant impact on its faculty participants. Data from a community survey, interviews with participants, and an analysis of participation rates show that 1) faculty participants change both their teaching content and methods after participating in the community, 2) faculty feel supported by the community and have a desire to “give back" in ways that support IONiC's mission, and 3) faculty are able to "give back" through a changing array of community activities.


This research was supported by the National Science Foundation REU program (MPS/CHE 1263097).

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