Finding the 'tipping point': A Framework for building an institutional learning community to improve learning and teaching

Deborah West

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    Abstract

    Universities are inherently learning communities in the broadest sense. Central to this and generally explicit in university mission statements are their goals in providing quality experiences for students. The scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) is a core element in the ongoing improvement of the student experience which embodies a valued scholarly research process. The idea of building an institution wide learning community with a focus on SoTL should therefore be at the heart of the university’s agenda and a relatively easy undertaking. Yet for a range of reasons it proves elusive in many institutions. This paper explores the underlying issues surrounding this challenge and identifies a range of factors which lay the foundation for building a SoTL learning community. It begins with an examination of the key concepts of SoTL, learning communities and structuralism to set the scene. The paper then examines key literature and existing data on SoTL and concludes with the presentation of a framework for building an institution wide learning community which supports the improvement of learning and teaching for students using a SoTL approach.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)40-51
    Number of pages12
    JournalLearning Communities: International Journal of Learning in Social contexts
    Volume18
    Issue numberSpecial Issue: Narrative Inquiry
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

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