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Developing a university learning, teaching and research framework through practice conversations

Brigitte Harris (Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences, Royal Roads University, Victoria, Canada)
Elizabeth Anne Childs (School of Education and Technology, Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences, Royal Roads University, Victoria, Canada)
Jo Axe (College of Interdisciplinary Studies, Royal Roads University, Victoria, Canada)
Charlotte Gorley (Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences, Royal Roads University, Victoria, Canada)

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education

ISSN: 2050-7003

Article publication date: 25 May 2021

Issue publication date: 14 March 2022

80

Abstract

Purpose

This project engaged faculty, students, alumni and staff in re-visioning their university's learning, teaching and research framework. An extensive consultation process allowed participants to explore, discuss and critically reflect on effective practice.

Design/methodology/approach

This action research project provided a process for university community members to engage in practice conversations. In phase 1, focus groups and campus community discussions elicited the diverse perspectives of the community. The design-thinking process of discovery, ideation and prototyping aligned with the action research cycles to help a working group create a learning and teaching framework prototype based on the findings. In the second phase, surveys were used to elicit community members' responses to the prototype, which was then refined.

Findings

The prototype was organized into three overarching categories, each containing several attributes. The attributes of the “Applied and Authentic” category were: interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary; experiential and participatory; flexible and individualized; outcomes based; and openly practiced. The attributes of the “Caring and Community-Based” category were: inclusive and diverse; community-based; supportive; team-based; co-creative; and place and virtual space-based. The attributes of the “Transformational” category were socially innovative; respectful of Indigenous peoples and traditions; impactful; and reflective.

Originality/value

This article should interest higher education institutions seeking to engage faculty, staff, students and others in practice conversations to develop a learning, teaching and research strategy. This research demonstrated that fostering practice conversations among diverse community members can be a powerful process for creating a common and integrated vision of excellent learning, teaching and research practice.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors wish to acknowledge the LTRM Working Group members Brigitte Harris, Jennifer Walinga, Elizabeth Childs, Jacalyn Raby, Geo Takach, Frances Jorgenson, Roberta Mason, Deb Zornes, Charlotte Gorley and Vivian Forssman.

Citation

Harris, B., Childs, E.A., Axe, J. and Gorley, C. (2022), "Developing a university learning, teaching and research framework through practice conversations", Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, Vol. 14 No. 2, pp. 874-885. https://doi.org/10.1108/JARHE-11-2020-0380

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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