Communities of Practice

The University of Adelaide Communities of Practice for Learning and Teaching (CoP) provide an avenue for passionate staff and current students to come together and explore new and innovative ways to enhance the learning and teaching experience at the University of Adelaide.   

Meeting monthly (face-to-face and virtually) these groups discuss topics of strategic relevance to the institution, develop teaching resources, outline best practice and deepen their knowledge and expertise. 

The work of the CoPs is shared at the annual Communities of Practice Symposium and then put into practice in various ways across the University.  Led by Community of Practice Facilitators these groups are voluntary and have representatives from all areas of the University.

Membership is open to all University of Adelaide staff.  For more information on how to become involved please contact the Facilitators connected to each Community or contact the Teaching Excellence team.

  • Active Learning and Assessment

    About the community

    Formally known as Flipped Classroom Active learning and assessment brings together academics, e-learning advisors, early career teachers and researchers from every faculty across the university.

    Community goals

    • Capacity building for teacher professional development
    • Explore innovative approaches to learning and teaching - with the needs of students at the centre of learning
    • Facilitate cross-faculty dissemination of flipped classroom innovations.
    • Provide a forum for vibrant FC peer discussions and review of learning materials
    • Foster scholarly activity
    • Enable a cultural change of student-driven, active learning strategies across the university.

    Member experience Student's view

    Meeting format

    • Monthly meetings with structured Agenda
    • Allows time for ‘fellowship’ informal discussion and networking
    • Participate in active and engaging scholarly activities
    • Special focus ‘bring a friend sessions’
    • Social Meetings – relationship building
    Join and connect with current members

    To join, please email teachexcellence@adelaide.edu.au

    Co-facilitators:

    Hayley McGrice, Trisha Franceschilli or Viythia Katharesan.

    Resources
  • Discovery Learning

    About the community

    The Discovery Learning CoP is a collegial community of scholars who explore different forms of discovery learning for research and best practice.

    Our CoP was formed in 2015 with a focus on teaching large classes. In 2016 we shifted focus to the design and implementation of Small Group Discovery Learning (SGDE) across all class sizes. To broaden our educational application, in 2018 we became known simply as the Discovery Learning CoP. Our members represent all of the Faculties of the University and include academic staff, education specialists, learning advisors and students

    Community goals

    •     To be an inclusive and supportive forum for sharing experiences of discovery learning at the University of Adelaide
    •     To focus on gathering and evaluating evidence for our practices and promote scholarship of teaching focused on discovery learning
    •     To provide leadership on the development of resources for students and teachers using different forms of discovery learning
    •     To encourage innovation and creativity in implementing experiences for students that communicate the excitement of discovery

    Meeting format

    We meet around eight times a year, in a variety of physical locations but also via virtual platforms. We try to get away from our desks and into the outdoors whenever possible, where we can better open our minds and engage in some stimulating and engaging discussion.  We often have guest speakers or presentations from members of our CoP. We encourage students to get involved with our CoP whenever possible, hearing their voice is so important to the success of Discovery Learning.

    We have a half-day retreat at the beautiful Waite campus to spend consolidated time on discovery learning initiatives and ideas.

    To receive the remote meeting details (zoom links) please contact us.  

    Historical highlights
    • CoP members presented on Discovery Learning related projects at the Connecting Higher Education Conference, UCL, London
    • CoP members participated in a mentor induction workshop for Discovery Learning
    • Members were invited to attend or view Discovery Learning project outcomes in other disciplines
    • CoP contributed to a Canvas site for showcasing Discovery Learning examples and guidelines
    • CoP members peer reviewed a draft Discovery Learning University survey
    • Members were subsidised to attend the iMELT conference in Adelaide in December 2017
    • Members are regular presenters at the Festival of Learning Teaching
    • The whole CoP membership applied for a COVID19 Emergency Teaching Responses Award
    • Members contribute to the delivery of professional development modules to staff
     
    Join and connect with current members

    To join, please email teachexcellence@adelaide.edu.au

    Co-facilitators:

    Beth Loveys or Natalia Zarina.

    Resources

    Resources on teaching philosophy that matches up with Discovery Learning:

  • Diversity and Inclusion in Teaching

    About the community

    A community of staff and students to explore inclusive learning and teaching practices.

    • Design and implementation of an inclusive teaching framework offering tools and exemplars for inclusive course structure, delivery, assessment, feedback and review
    • Significantly increase the awareness of diverse student groups and of existing theory, tools and approaches for inclusive learning and teaching.

    Meeting format

    Monthly meetings where we work on tangible objectives the community sets, directly reporting to the PVC(SL).

    Join and connect with current members

    To join, please email teachexcellence@adelaide.edu.au

    Co-facilitators:

    Kim Barbour or Emma Muhlack.

    Resources

    Diversity and Inclusion in Teaching - Comic

  • e-Learning

    About the community

    A community for academic and professional staff interested in the development of digital learning resources, the transition of courses from face-to-face to online delivery, MOOCs, and/or evaluation of the impact of e-learning strategies on student learning.

    Technology is increasingly being used to facilitate active learning and collaboration, to better engage and support students via richer learning experiences and to accommodate the needs and expectations of students from different cultural backgrounds, with different learning styles, across different study contexts.

    Community goals

    The e-Learning CoP provides opportunities to:

    • engage in capacity building through professional development in e-learning.
    • support networking and collaboration between academic and professional staff across The University of Adelaide faculties and divisions.
    • engage university staff and students in scholarly activity, such as research and dissemination.
    • facilitate the sharing of best practices and examples in e-learning across the University.
    • provide a forum for constructive peer review and evaluation of e-learning.
    • provide opportunities for student participation and feedback in e-learning design learn from leaders in the field.

    Meeting format

    • Monthly one hour meetings - on alternate Tuesday and Friday's - with structured Agenda
    • Meetings in 2022 will be held online and in person. Please contact us to be added to the meeting request and receive the Teams meeting link for online events.
    • Includes formal presentations or structured discussion on topics of interest.
    • Allows time for ‘fellowship’ informal discussion and networking
    • Participate in active and engaging scholarly activities
    • Social Meetings – relationship building
    Join and connect with current members

    To join, please email teachexcellence@adelaide.edu.au

    Co-facilitators:

    Cheryl Pope, Eman Rashwan and Kym Schutz.

    Resources

    One important achievement for the group this year has been the development of their MyUni page which now has a range of resources available for members.  One resource has Jessica completing a demonstration using Vivi in blended modes of teaching in Lecture theatres (see a preview).  

  • Employability

    About the community

    Employability is the combination of knowledge, skills, behaviours and personal qualities that enables a graduate to be successful in their chosen career. It can be embedded in the student experience within the curriculum and can be developed through co-curricular and extra-curricular opportunities.

    We are a community of academic and professional staff supporting student learning for employability.  We consider different approaches to employability development such as career development learning (CDL) and experiential learning including work integrated learning (WIL).

    Highlights

    To date the has focused on work-based learning sharing best practice amongst attendees and at the Australian Collaborative Education Network (ACEN) conference. We also produced a number of resources including:

    • a high-level framework for designing or reviewing work-based learning courses
    • an internships handbook for students that can be adapted by any faculty/discipline and online video modules to prepare students for internships
    • a high level Risk Management outline of do’s and don’ts

    Community goals

    Our broad aim is to support excellent teaching and learning practices that facilitate students to develop the knowledge, skills, contacts, confidence and networks they need to be ready for their future. With this as our guiding principal, we also aim to:

    • Enable the sharing of innovative practices and pedagogies
    • Collaborate on projects that encourage and support academics to embed employability in their courses and programs
    • Engage University staff and students in research and dissemination
    • Develop shared expertise in learning and teaching
    • Contribute to the professional development of staff
    • Provide professional development opportunities for staff on WIL
    • Encourage more students to co-create with us
    • Contribute to the development of a project across faculties that would enable students to work together on an industry-driven project that is multi-disciplinary (grand challenge)

    Meeting format

    • Monthly meetings with agenda
    • Structured discussion of topics of interest
    • Informal discussion and networking
    • Bring your own lunch

    Topics for discussion

    • Experiential learning including work-integrated learning
    • Applied learning
    • Career development learning
    • Industry and community engagement
    • Internships and placements
    • Volunteering
    • Employability skills and capabilities
    • Building student and graduate professional networks
    Join and connect with current members

    To join, please email teachexcellence@adelaide.edu.au

    Co-facilitators:

    Sharon Scott or Melissa Connor.

  • HDR Supervision

    About the Community

    The HDR Supervision Community of Practice – also known as the ‘HDR CoP’ – is a community of academic staff who are or have been engaged in the supervision of research students at MPhil or PhD level. The community also welcomes members engaged in other forms of research supervision (e.g. Honours or Postgraduate Coursework research projects) and professional staff who work within these fields.

    The HDR CoP officially launched on 20 May 2021.  

    Community goals

    • To be an inclusive, supportive environment in which to share experiences of supervision
    • To support beginning supervisors as well as those who are more experienced
    • To offer a forum to discuss the problems and difficulties that arise in supervision
    • To generate new ideas and approaches to supervision
    • To provide a support network for supervisors aiming to develop innovative methods of supervision
    • To provide leadership in supervision for the benefit of the wider university community

    Meeting format

    • Every two months
    • Formal presentations or structured discussion on topics of interest
    • Informal discussion and networking
    Join and connect with current members

    To join, please email teachexcellence@adelaide.edu.au

    Co-facilitators:

    Natalie Edwards, Tania Crotti and Anna Szorenyi.

    Launch event

    The HDR CoP was officially launched with an event in the Ingkarni Wardli building on Thursday May 20, 2021. The guest speaker was Professor Alistair McColloch who discussed Changing Students, Changing PhD & Challenging Supervision.

  • Language

    About the Community

    The Language Community of Practice – also known as the ‘Language CoP’ – is a community of academic staff who are teaching languages.

    Community goals

    • To be an inclusive, supportive environment in which to share experiences of teaching languages
    • To support beginning language teachers as well as those who are more experienced
    • To offer a forum to discuss the problems and difficulties that arise in language teaching
    • To generate new ideas and approaches to language teaching
    • To provide a support network for language teachers aiming to develop innovative methods of teaching
    • To provide leadership in language teaching for the benefit of the wider university community
    Meeting format
    • Every two months
    • Formal presentations or structured discussions on topics of interest
    • Informal discussion and networking
    Facilitator:

    Dr Shoko Yoneyama, Program Coordinator: Bachelor of Languages, Diploma in Languages & Bachelor of Languages (Honours)

  • Learning Analytics

    About the community

    A community for staff to explore the potential for learning analytics to improve student learning.

    Community goals

    • Assessment of student academic performance and the assessment of a course through the use of learning analytics.
    • Objectively improve course delivery and strengthen student engagement promoting a better understanding of teaching best practices.

    Meeting format

    Monthly meetings where we work on tangible objectives the community sets, directly reporting to the PVC(SL).

    Join and connect with current members

    To join, please email teachexcellence@adelaide.edu.au.  For more information, please visit the learning analytics webpage.

    Co-facilitators:

    David Wilson.  

  • Simulation-Based Education

    About the community

    Well executed Simulation- Based Education (SBE) provides high quality student learning experiences. SBE enables educators to address key employability capabilities at the same time as students learn relevant discipline content and technical and non-technical skills. Through skilled pre-brief, debrief and feedback, students are given the space to self-reflect, develop self- awareness and construct strategies to further improve their communication, confidence, team-work and technical skills

    The Simulation Based Education Community of Practice – also known as the ‘SBE CoP’ – is a community of academic and professional staff who are or would like to use simulation-based education practices in their teaching (both in clinical and non-clinical disciplines).

    SBE at The University of Adelaide is well established. For example, in the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences (FoHMS) Adelaide Health Simulation is currently the only accredited health care simulation facility for excellence in learning and teaching in Australia.

    Increasingly, early adopters and passionate educators are advocating for, and utilising SBE to assist students to meet learning outcomes in a range of disciplines. The School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences (SAVS) delivers SBE in a sophisticated manner to support their curriculum.  Exciting collaborations between Schools/Faculties have emerged including: The Adelaide Medical School (AMS) and SAVS, AMS and the Adelaide Law School and AMS and the Faculty of Arts. The potential for growth and collaboration is exciting and this community of practice is an opportunity to realise that potential.

    Community goals

    SBE requires an educator to be creative and innovative and to have developed skilful debriefing and feedback capacities. It is a specialised teaching role with multiple considerations including:

    • Writing effective scenarios which captures both the human emotional experience and the clinical or discipline content/skill.
    • Training and developing simulated patients (actors) to adopt the created role and, if indicated, provide objective and structured feedback related to their experience.
    • Developing the skills of effective debrief, whereby the learners are empowered to self-reflect, learn from the experience and feel supported to try new strategies.
    • Developing the skills of effective feedback related to the learner’s learning objectives and providing the feedback in an objective, structured and balanced format.
    • Gaining confidence and experience with the various platforms available for technologically enhanced SBE

    Meeting format

    • Every second month, in person or online.
    • Formal presentations by invited speakers or members of the group or structured discussion on topics of interest
    • Informal discussion and networking
    • Sharing current collaborations and learning events
    Join and connect with current members

    To join, please email teachexcellence@adelaide.edu.au.  

    Co-facilitators:

    For more information or to join, please contact our co-facilitators: Adam Montagu or Michelle McArthur.

  • Student Leadership Programs

    About the community

    The Student Leadership CoP is open to all staff and students with an interest in student leadership. The CoP meets regularly to discuss topics such as developing and maintaining peer-to-peer support activities and programs, training needs for student leaders, student ambassador and mentor roles, collaboration opportunities and more. The overall aims of the group are to foster a network focused on problem-solving, resource-sharing, and connection, with a focus on empowering and appreciating students who support other students.   

    Meeting format

     

    Our schedule alternates between regular meetings where members and guests connect to share experiences, issues, and resources, plan professional development opportunities, and create a supportive network, and themed workshop-style meetings with a focus on student/staff partnership.

    Meetings are held in-person/online through our MS Teams space, which is also a site for connection, collaboration, resource sharing and general moral support!

    • Monthly meetings
    • Shared interest themes for focussed discussion
    • Regular roundtable updates for information sharing across programs/teams/areas
    • Informal networking and group problem-solving
    • Occasional guest speakers
    • Occasional professional development/training sessions

    Themes and schedule

     

    2022 Student Leadership CoP meetings:

    • Wednesday, 16 February – Informal Coffee Catch-up
    • Wednesday, 30 March – Regular meeting
    • Tuesday, 12 April –Themed meeting with student focus: Empowering Student Leaders
    • Wednesday, 11 May – Regular meeting
    • Wednesday, 22 June – Informal Coffee Catch-up
    • Wednesday, 6 July – Themed meeting with student focus: Communication & Engagement
    • Wednesday, 31 August – Regular meeting
    • Wednesday, 21 September – Themed meeting with student focus: Collaboration
    • Wednesday, 27 October – Regular meeting
    • Tuesday, 22 November – Themed meeting with student focus: Continuity: knowledge transfer and program sustainability
    • Wednesday, 14 December – Informal Coffee Catch-up/Social Drinks
    Join and connect with current members

    To join, please email teachexcellence@adelaide.edu.au.  

    Co-facilitators:

    Chelsea Avard 

    Llewy Smith 

  • Student Wellbeing

    About the community

    Recent events have propelled educator and student wellbeing further into the spotlight and we believe there is a unique opportunity to engage the teaching and learning community at the University of Adelaide (students and staff) in a dialogue about shifting wellbeing theory proactively and responsively into teaching and learning practice.

    We are very fortunate as an institution to already have a team dedicated to promoting wellbeing (Student Life – Wellbeing Hub), who have produced excellent resources to support students, as well as leading academic researchers in well-being in education. However, theory in the space continues to remain abstract for many and our current student-facing resources reside outside of teaching and learning ‘classroom practice’.  We also recognise the importance of supporting the community wellbeing of those who teach (i.e. we need to maintain our own wellbeing as teachers to support others).

    We often separate the assessment of student learning from the very outcomes that could be the most predictive of student success: the confidence and perseverance to want to stay in school, to want to take on an internship, to stay the path of graduation. What if the connection of learning to student development in well-being wasn’t just the purview of student affairs? What if how learning helps students feel about themselves and others is what matters most?

    p.15 ( Finley, A 2016, ‘Well-Being: An Essential Outcome for Higher Education’, Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, vol. 48, no. 2, pp. 14–19.)

    Community Goals

    • Build an active community focused on student and staff well-being practices within the learning and teaching space, with an aim for students to make up at least half of the community
    • Co-create resources, examples, and case studies of wellbeing in teaching practice
    • Act as a point of reference for future Wellbeing Strategy implementation.
    • Activate wellbeing as a key focus area that accords with the Pillar Plan
    • Consider the student experience more broadly: to include academic outcomes, but also key skills in character and capacity building for life beyond the university

    Meeting format

    • Monthly Face-to-Face gatherings in student facing spaces
    • Fortnightly Podcasts
    • Live online community-led conversations throughout the year
    • Online asynchronous discussion and resource sharing through MyUni

     

    SWLT Podcast

    Our first SWLT podcast is now up online.  To access the podcast for the first time you will need to join the Community's MyUni page

    In our first episode we talk about what the Student Wellbeing Community of Practice is all about and the CoP co-facilitators share their story with you about what makes them passionate about this space. 

    Visit the new SWLT Community Podcast page to listen - and share your story in the discussion. 

    We'd also love to hear from you about the people or topics you think should be on the Podcast.

    Also, if you would like to share your skills in podcasting (or develop them!) and want to help in the development of the community podcast, we'd love for you to get involved! Just flick us an email or give us a call :-) 

    Join and connect with current members

    To join, please email teachexcellence@adelaide.edu.au.  

    Co-facilitators:

    Linda Westphalen,  Colleen Ortega or Jacquilene Faliszewski

  • UoA–Pearson Alliance Programs

    About the Community

    The partnership between the University of Adelaide and Pearson is an alliance anchored in the design, development and delivery of a suite of fully online educational programs. All online programs offer an accelerated learning experience for students – each course within the post-graduate programs is delivered in an accelerated 6-week period, with 6 online teaching periods per year.

    The UoA–Pearson Alliance Programs Community of Practice – also known as the ‘Alliance CoP’ – is a community of academic staff who are or have been engaged in the design, development and delivery of online learning experiences within the Alliance Programs. This includes Program Coordinators, Course Coordinators and Course Contributors (content authors). “The community also includes representatives from the professional staff engaged in the Alliance, co-facilitated by Ali Ogilvie, Associate Director Strategic Programs and Partnerships (UoA), and Sandy Barker, Academic Learning and Development Specialist (Pearson).” Academic colleagues have been invited to join the facilitation team, and we hope to provide an update regarding academic co-facilitation very soon.

    The Alliance CoP officially launched on 25 March 2021.

    Community goals

    Our shared goals centre around a dedicated space to come together and explore new and innovative ways to enhance the learning and teaching experience at the University of Adelaide – supporting ongoing skills development by facilitating peer learning amongst our community of educators.

    The Alliance CoP provides opportunities to:

    • Engage in capacity building through professional development in fully online learning and teaching
    • Support networking between academic staff to foster peer support, sharing insights and learnings within and across disciplines
    • Share strategies for effective course authoring and coordination to enhance the student experience
    • Provide a forum for constructive peer review and evaluation of online learning and teaching (design, development and delivery)  
    • Create knowledge (specific to the online environment) that can be disseminated more broadly 
    • Engage academic and professional staff in scholarly activity.

    Meeting format

    • Every two months – alternating Wednesdays and Thursdays – with structured agenda (4 meetings per year)
    • Formal presentations or structured discussion on topics of interest
    • Informal discussion and networking.

    Meetings will be held via Teams, and in a meeting room in the Cog for those who are able to attend in person. There is also a dedicated channel in Teams for ongoing conversations and sharing of news and articles.

    Join and connect with current members

    To join, please email teachexcellence@adelaide.edu.au.  

    Co-facilitators:

    Ali Ogilvie (UoA) and Sandy Barker (Pearson).

  • Virtual Reality

    About the community

    A community of academics and professional staff exploring the role of virtual and augmented reality in teaching and learning.

    Community goals

    • To provide a platform for sharing our experience of working with VR and AR
    • To find opportunities to collaborate
    • To develop shared expertise in the use of VR and AR for learning and teaching
    Join and connect with current members

    To join, please email teachexcellence@adelaide.edu.au.  

    Co-facilitators:

    Ed Palmer.