Brookes Learning Communities

  • PSF

  • Brookes Learning Communities are open to all staff, formal (application to join) and informal (operating on a drop-in basis). They will explore a range of topics and areas of interest around teaching and learning to generate and enhance our commitment to scholarship of teaching and learning.

    We will be opening up invitations in November for academics and professional services staff to apply to join one of two Brookes Academy Learning Communities that will run February 2020 – February 2021.

    These Learning Communities will include a group of cross-disciplinary academic staff and professional services (10 to 15 in total members) engaging in an active, collaborative, yearlong program with a curriculum about enhancing education with frequent seminars and activities that provide learning, development, cross-disciplinary, the scholarship of teaching and learning, and community building. Each participant in these communities will work on a project under the theme of the community they apply to and contribute to the community as a whole and each community is supported by 1 or 2 Learning Community facilitators. Oversight of the communities will be by Dr Jane Pritchard.

    Each community will only last 1 year and must close at the end of the year – but it may be possible to, launch a new community, and open invitations to join a new community for 2021-2022. Each community is assigned a small fund to support the functions of the community – extra funds may be available for members or the community each year depending on the topic. Note there is no workload allocation for participation in these communities. Participating in the learning communities provides an excellent opportunity for learning across all academic staff and professional services staff.

    The two Brookes Academy Learning Community Topics for 2020-2021 will be:

    • Enterprise Education - This is a learning community designed to support the development of entrepreneurial teaching practice. Through the creation of a diverse and supportive network of practitioners who are all addressing a common goal (to change teaching practice/delivery methods to support the development of entrepreneurial attributes in their students this group seeks to embed novel approaches within their teaching and share their approaches with others. The collaborative nature of this community seeks to build upon the pre-existing experience to share expertise and develop new approaches, where necessary. By drawing from a wide range of teaching traditions and disciplines, this group will serve as problem solvers as well as ‘critical friends’ to those that are seeking to change the way they are delivering.
    • Leading Inclusive Teaching - Participants in this community will be people at Brookes that are leading the development of inclusive curricula, assessment or teaching approaches for diverse students on programmes, in subject areas, across or within modules. Participants will be committed to reviewing and renewing practices to ensure that all students achieve to the best of their potential and will be committed, through their projects, to collecting evidence of the impact of their team’s innovations, ideas and approaches. Projects will not only explore inclusive practice but could also focus on the educational leadership of staff teams through change and challenge as part of the review and renewal of curricula, assessment and teaching strategies to make them more inclusive. Participants and projects will need to demonstrate how they are committed to ensuring the success of all students through targeted work addressing low attainment of specific groups or through work that adopts ‘good for all’ principles for example universal design for learning.

    If you want to read more about the basis for the Learning Community model we will be using please visit

    Content to be adding shortly

    Learning Communities provide a ‘process and content’ approach to enhancing education practices. They have firm foundations in the scholarship of teaching and learning, thus ensuring a strong evidence basis to educational practice developments as appropriate to institutional and sector context. They:

    • build University-wide community through teaching and learning
    • enable all Brookes staff to explore interest in undergraduate/postgraduate teaching and learninginvestigate and incorporate ways that difference can enhance teaching and learning
    • nourish scholarship of teaching and learning and its application to student learning
    • increase staff collaboration across faculty’s and directorates
    • encourage reflection about education and coherence of learning across disciplines
    • each learning community has its own specific goals and objectives, which the facilitator and members refine but each member and the community as a whole are expected to produce outcomes or products about the topic for use by Brookes (and beyond as appropriate).
    • opportunity to meet and work with colleagues on your own projects within the community theme as well as learn from others
    • monthly meetings (monthly) with fellow community to work through projects- shape and direction of each meeting is decided upon by the community and is set in the initial ‘away-day’ that each community member must attend
    • a closing community event