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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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