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Developing Cross-Institutional Communities of Academic Practice: From Groundhog Day to The Wizard of Oz. Maureen Dawson Rachel Forsyth Robert Ready. Groundhog Day. Big institution; Similar concerns; Repetition of projects;

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Developing Cross-Institutional Communities of Academic Practice: From Groundhog Day to The Wizard of Oz

Maureen Dawson

Rachel Forsyth

Robert Ready


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Groundhog Day Practice:

Big institution;

Similar concerns;

Repetition of projects;

Lack of structure for informal guidance rather than formal regulation;

Central support challenged by all this!


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Conversations Practice: → Action

  • Special Interest Groups (SIGs)

    • SLTFs;

    • FAPs;

  • Communities of Practice (CoPs)

    • Speed dating;

    • Consultation;

    • All staff email.


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    Communities of Practice Practice:

    • Assessment,

    • Blended Learning,

    • Diversity and Inclusion,

    • Pedagogy and Curriculum,

    • PDP,

    • Scholarship and Learning,

    • Student Feedback and Experience,

    • Student Support and Retention,

    • Staff Development,

      and………..


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    Communities of Practice Practice:

    • Podcasting


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    Further developments Practice:

    MMU e-learning Pathfinder project (May07-08)

    ‘The broad aim of this project is to understand the barriers and enablers of inter and intra faculty collaboration on the development, use and re-use of e-learning resources and to therefore increase such collaborative activity by managed change’

    Bill Johnstone, Robin Johnson

    Work Package : From SIGs to CoPs


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    Central Co-ordination Practice:

    • Facilitating communication between CoP members;

    • Facilitating links between the CoPs and CeLT;

    • Facilitating dissemination of CoP activities;

    • Involving the CoPs in decision-making processes within the institution;

    • Facilitating CoP-related research.


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    Communication Practice:

    • Email;

    • Face to Face;

    • Webpages;

    • Wikis;

    • Annual Away Day (SLTFs, FAPs, CoPs and CeLT: Working together to share good practice)


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    CoP activities Practice:

    discuss aspects of learning/teaching and assessment;

    arrange meetings;

    exchange information (about conferences, seminars, resources, funding opportunities);

    seek help;

    offer advice;

    comment on and/or propose policy and framework documents;


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    CoP activities Practice:

    • work on documents and presentations;

    • send reports of meetings arrange and publicise workshops;

    • provide focus groups (for other projects);

    • draw up research proposals;

    • offer to supervise research projects;


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    CoP activities Practice:

    • request and/or provide speakers for internal and external events;

    • invite expressions of interest (eg in external projects);

    • produce resources collaboratively;

    • survey members’ opinions;


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    Assessment CoP Practice:

    • drafting an assessment framework;

    • guidance for thorny issues;

      • penalties for excessive word length in submissions,

      • guidance on student assessment workload,

      • students answering too many exam questions,

    • research projects;

    • tips, advice, shared experiences;


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    Diverse activities Practice:

    email list;

    wiki – essential for drafting;

    presentations,

    Wizard of Oz,

    It’s a Wonderful Life.


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    Where we are now Practice:

    • Some reorganisation;

    • Some additions;

      • Web2,

      • Second Life,

      • Programme Leaders,

      • Aid4A.

    • Some deletions;

    • Some guidelines/ground rules.


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