Community of Practice

We have an extraordinary community of online practitioners in SUNY with a 20-year history of learning, teaching, sharing, researching, innovating, and continuously improving what we know about effective online teaching and learning. As a true “community of practice,” our numbers include diverse interests, as well as varying levels of expertise and experience including:

interested-in-online-education Interested in Online-Enabled Education –  Anyone interested in learning more about effective online teaching practices, and about the design of effective online teaching and learning environments.
experienced-online-educator Experienced Online Practitioners – Those with training and experience in teaching online, or in supporting effective online teaching and learning environments.
expert-instructional-designer Expert Instructional Designers – Online specialists with expertise in the support, design, and development of effective online instructors and online teaching and learning environments.
exemplar_coach_mentor Online Teaching Exemplars, Coaches, and Mentors – Exemplary online practitioners with expertise in effective online teaching and course design practices who are willing serve as role models and to dedicate time to coach and mentor others.
innovator-researcher-policymaker Innovators and Researchers – Those engaged in scholarly work on how people teach and learn well online, and/or are engaged in innovation using practices or technologies that push the boundaries of online teaching and learning.
 friends-of-suny Friends of SUNY – Any non-SUNY campus individual interested in online teaching and learning and participating in the community.

To learn more about any of these roles, please review the Fellows Expectations.

The Open SUNY Online Teaching Community of Practice aims to cultivate these interests by leveraging the expertise of our rich and vibrant community of online practitioners in a peer-to-peer network through formalizing roles that online educators have always played within their campus and the broader system community. This will allow online practitioners to contribute more effectively to the SUNY community, enable campuses and the center to better identify and fulfill the specific needs of community members, and create better visibility among peers with shared interests across the system.

By signing up for a role, online practitioners reaffirm their commitment to online-enabled education and gain membership as “Open SUNY Fellows.” With this membership, Open SUNY commits to support online practitioners on their online education journey, while those committing to these roles pledge to give back to the Open SUNY community. Open SUNY Fellow Roles include:


What are the benefits of becoming an Open SUNY Fellow?

Open SUNY Fellows will have access to a variety of supports including:


What is my commitment as an Open SUNY Fellow?

At the heart of a well-functioning community of practice are the contributions made by members to the community as a whole. We recognize that members will continue to contribute to the community in various ways and forms, yet to enable a well-functioning peer-to-peer network, it is essential that the experience and expertise of the community members be leveraged to: provide mentorship opportunities to faculty new to online education; turn theory into practice; facilitate and lead faculty development events; create and disseminate new and innovative practices; and foster lively in-person and online forums. As such, Open SUNY will recognize contributions back to the community within the framework of community roles:


How Do I Apply?

Recognition as an Open SUNY Fellow is an opportunity for online practitioners, and others working in online education to be formally acknowledged and valued for their commitment to learn from, and contribute back to, the SUNY-wide community. The roles envisioned in the center provide a framework to recognize experience and expertise and allow us all to benefit from experienced online educators who are willing to commit to share what they know with their peers across the SUNY system.

Join the Open SUNY Online Teaching Community of Practice as an Open SUNY Fellow