Using a Community of Practice to Enhance Learning and Teaching
Identifying and sharing innovative teaching practice is moving forward in the School of Business and Economics thanks to a Teaching and Innovation Award.
The team leading the research have created a Community of Practice, or “teaching forum” which combines events, featuring short presentations, discussions and questions, with online resources on a dedicated Learn page.
The Community enables sharing of practice across the disciplines which combine within SBE, each of which has its own approaches to learning and teaching.
Two events have already been held: the first in May and the second in October, both exploring large group teaching. The May event tackled the challenges academics can face when teaching large groups of students whilst the October event focused on issues of assessment and delivering feedback to large numbers. Both events were made available through lecture capture, audio recordings and presentation material disseminated through the Learn pages. An online forum has been valuable in capturing discussion, queries and debates.
A third event is currently being planned for February 2016 and is expected to address student engagement in large groups.
The research team has collated survey responses from online and offline participants; recordings of discussion during events; and usage of the Learn resources. Analysis will evaluate whether and how colleagues have utilised the Community of Practice to enhance their approaches to teaching and learning. The findings will then shed light on the potential benefits and challenges of implementing a Community of Practice for other Schools.
The team say initial feedback has been very positive. Dr Alex Wilson said: “Initial, informal feedback received from the teaching forum events has been very positive. Staff in the School are eager to learn from one another and share ideas about how to deal with some of the key challenges we all experience in our roles as teachers.”
The community of practice is run by: Chris Wilson, Alex Wilson, Lara Stocchi, and Gabi Witthaus.