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Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

Emerging from the third space chrysalis: Experiences in a non-hierarchical, collaborative research community of practice

Bickle, Ed, Bishopp-Martin, Silvina, Canton, Ursula, Chin, Paul, Johnson, Ian, Kantcheva, Ralitsa, Nodder, Jane, Rafferty, Victoria, Sum, Kiu and Welton, Karen (2021) Emerging from the third space chrysalis: Experiences in a non-hierarchical, collaborative research community of practice. Journal of University Teaching and Learning Practice, 18 (7). pp. 135-158.

Item Type: Article


This article discusses the creation of a research-focused virtual community of practice (vCoP) for geographically-dispersed third space professionals, motivated by desires for enhanced professional collaboration, visibility and identity. The authors used collaborative autoethnography (CAE) to evaluate their personal reflections as vCoP participants. Data were gathered in two collaborative writing activities and analysed using thematic analysis (TA). The TA identified two connected themes, which capture the vCoP members’ aspirations to transcend their current roles and be research-active through connecting with like-minded professionals. Collaborative writing activities, including authoring this paper, cultivated elements of academic identity such as independence and purpose. A non-hierarchical and supportive vCoP environment allowed the members to work beyond time and institutional constraints to foster the evolution of the community and an emerging sense of professional identity beyond that typically associated with third space roles. The paper offers a model of collaboration that could help groups in similar situations.

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Depositing User: Victoria Rafferty


Item ID: 14612
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ORCID for Victoria Rafferty: ORCID iD

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Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2022 14:51
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2023 11:49


Author: Victoria Rafferty ORCID iD
Author: Ed Bickle
Author: Silvina Bishopp-Martin
Author: Ursula Canton
Author: Paul Chin
Author: Ian Johnson
Author: Ralitsa Kantcheva
Author: Jane Nodder
Author: Kiu Sum
Author: Karen Welton


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