The Journey From Isolation to Community

Donna Armes-Thomas, Angela Matthews, Miguel Sanchez
InSITE 2022  •  2022  •  pp. 030
Aim/Purpose: This paper examines faculty feelings of isolation when teaching in a distance education environment.

Background: Faculty who teach in an exclusively online environment often feel isolated, which may lead to decreased cognitive ability, depression, and increased mortality rates. In addition to personal detriments, these issues could negatively impact teaching performance.

Methodology: Using narrative autoethnography, the authors of this study share their experiences of isolation teaching online and the benefits they felt from joining a Community of Practice (CoP) to help alleviate those symptoms.

Contribution: Authors share how helpful their experiences were in adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Findings Results of this study suggest that utilizing the CoP model reduces faculty feelings of isolation and improves teaching performance.

Recommendations for Practitioners: The authors recommend that other faculty consider participating in a CoP, even if they initially feel hesitant.
isolation, distance education, communities of practice
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