CoP Spotlight – Teaching & Learning Community
As part of the Spotlight Series, Emma Mescall contacted a number of the existing Communities of Practice already established here at UCD about how they came together, their function, the objectives and how the changes brough on by Covid affected them.
This profile was provided by Judith Archbol,Teaching & Learning Projects Officer, UCD Teaching & Learning on behalf of the T&L CoP
Who are the group?
UCD Teaching and Learning Community
How often do the group meet? How is this structured?
Members of the community have a broad range of teaching and learning interests and work across UCD covering multiple disciplines and services. As opportunities to meet arise, members of the community, post the opportunities, inviting colleagues to attend. These can be training opportunities or sharing of developments or teaching and learning practice. Sometimes, international experts may be delivering a talk in a school or college and the opportunity to attend is kindly extended to members of the community. Colleges and vice principals for teaching and learning who ogranise college teaching and learning events sometimes extend the invitation to UCD Teaching and Learning community members. UCD Teaching and Learning have also organised face-to-face events for the community with sharing of good practice by colleagues on a topic eg. “Group Work: Challenges and Solutions” followed by informal discussion and lunch.
How did the community of practice come about?
The community was set up in 2014 as part of the UCD Teaching and Learning communications strategy, with the objectives below.
What are goals/objectives for the group?
The purpose of the Teaching & Learning community is to:
- Foster a sense of community with UCD colleagues who teach or support the learning of UCD students throughout the University
- Create a platform for sharing information to stimulate learning and a shared understanding
- Facilitate connecting people who might not otherwise come into contact
- Gather opinion and expertise to assist in planning and implementation of work for UCD Teaching & Learning or any other unit as appropriate
- Improve UCD Teaching & Learning communications by creating an inclusive two-way channel
How is the group run and maintained?
The community is managed by UCD Teaching and Learning but members autonomously share their own events, innovative practice, opportunities and announcements. UCD Teaching and Learning shares resources, examples of innovative teaching practice, funding, training, development and other opportunities on an ongoing basis. Additionally, we use the community to seek feedback on various aspects of work and teaching practice. For example, we have sought input from the community in developing the UCD Teaching and Learning Awards, help testing surveys, views on preferred topics for our annual symposium and have polled colleagues on how they assess group work.
What is the vision for the future of the group?
We will continue to pursue the objectives of the group, adapting how we manage the community to the changing environment.
How does the group measure success?
We have noted achievement against our objectives.
What have the challenges been since moving to hybrid working?
The community is very well suited to hybrid working as it uses Google Currents as a platform.
What appeals to staff about the group?
- All members are welcome to contribute as long as the content is relevant, therefore, it is very inclusive.
- The flat structure is conducive to information-sharing and supporting new colleagues.
- The tone is open, transparent and supportive.
- It is a very easy way for colleagues to reach out to other colleagues.
- Members can dip in and out as they please and review resources in their own time.
- It is easy to join and access using the UCD single-sign on.
- The interface is graphically pleasing and easy to use.
Who is this group for or aimed at in terms of members?
The community is for UCD employees who teach or support the learning of UCD students.