Identifying and Building the Leadership Capacity of Community of Practice Facilitators


  • Jacquelin McDonald University of Southern Queensland Author
  • Judy Nagy University of South Australia Author
  • Cassandra Star Flinders University Author
  • Tony Burch Higher Education Consultant Author
  • Milton D. Cox Miami University Author
  • Fiona Margetts University of Southern Queensland Author


The authors report on an Australian project that conducted a sector-wide needs analysis and qualitative interviews to identify community of practice (CoP) leadership roles, challenges, and development needs. Survey and interview data identified that most communities of practice are situated within university faculties among practitioners and are, therefore, close to where student learning takes place. The project findings informed the creation of resources to develop CoP leadership capacity to foster shared social learning and thereby improve learning and teaching across the Australian higher education sector. This article outlines the distributed leadership approach that profiled the strengths of each member of the project team and enabled the group to become a CoP in action and to work collaboratively over three years.