I'm glad to see that you've found your way into SCoPE and thanks for sharing your notes about TAG at UBC. You're clearly very enthusiastic about TAG, and since I've attended several of your workshops and events I can see why. It's interesting that student fees help to support your unit - I haven't seen this done elsewhere.
When I first read your desriptions of CoP's I was thinking of online communities, but I realized that you might be talking about in-person or blended type communities - please tell me more! At LIDC, we have built the online infrastructure for a few online communities, SCoPE being one of them.
Vivian, you asked me to say a bit more about our Communities of Practice. None of the 14 we have are exclusively online, but many of them have active communications online as part of the format. In fact, one of them, the Global Citizenship CoP, operates as a listserv so that as people join (by joing the list) they are automatically brought into 'easy touch' with all others in the group.
All of the ones that I am involved in, which is most of them, as a participant or organizer, use email (by us at TAG) to let them know about an upcoming event that relates to the CoP's topic, or to ask them what they want next. A subset of the CoP then register online for that event and show up and we see their smiling faces.
The main value of the CoP, I think, is that people really do feel like part of a community, and they know that when we send them an email, it is about what they are already interested in, be it community service learning, or graduate students, or undergraduate research. It saves them time as they don't have to look through a lot of emails to see what is of interest to them.
It would be great to have a listing of all the other kinds of Communities of this sort (like SCoPE) that we can link to, from TAG's site and to/from any others.
** Who out there knows of another one to add? I would be happy to summarize all the findings.**
I know of a Team-based Learning group that is active across North America for example.
On the funding contributed by student fees, I know that the University of Alberta, under the new presidency of Indira Samasekora (who was a great VP, Research here at UBC!) has started a fund that operates similiarly and in fact is also called the Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund. About a year ago, I met students from the University of Calgary (and wrote an article in our TAG Newsletter after interviewing them and others involved in student government from UBC and the UK.
Shannon O'Connor, the then VP Academic for the Student Union at Calgary, told me about funding, for the past 4 years there, called Quality Money. Amongst other things, it provides grants to professors for innovative teaching. I must admit I don't know where the money came from though - student fees or? (The UBC fund was started about 20 years ago and since it was a levy on students' fees, they had to vote on it, and happily, they voted for it, as a way to improve teaching to help them and future students.)
So, I suspect there are more places that do this sort of thing, in various formats. **Norm, maybe you can shed some light on the way it works at Calgary to augment what I have reported from Shannon.**
In regards to CoP - I think that there is a huge CoP in relation to EduBlogs. It doesn't have a central location, but over the last year that I've really been watching it, these bloggers comment on each others postings, link to each others commentary, and twitter about each others presentations. It's not a link for a list, as such, but certainly a non-centralized CoP.
The couple of years that I sat on that panel I was often surprised to hear some students stand up and say "maybe you can have a place where faculty members go to become better teachers"... I get to of course reply, "we do".
This speaks to the need for teaching and learning centres to involve students in active ways, and to keep them in the loop. At TAG, we have an undergraduate student advisory committee, with whom we meet twice a year for dialogue. We also invite students to attend seminars, and even help lead some of them. Further, we invite undergrads to write a regular column called Student View in our newsletter. (I just presented on these things at the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education conference at the University of Alberta; when I get a summary of my and the audience's examples, I would be happy to send it along to each of you.)
Thanks for the CoP addition. Good to know.
On another note, I am not in the office tomorrow, and of course will be away from email on Canada Day too, so checking back to our online conversation on July 2.
Alice at UBC
When an idea causes me to slap my head and say "of COURSE" then I know that I'm going to do some serious learning. What a great way to get students involved (taking more responsibility for their learning) and get the feedback flowing between faculty and students and the T&L Centre. I would love to read your summary of your presentation - will you post it here for all of us?
Do other Centres consult with students, and what unexpected things did you learn?
I've noticed that some Teaching and Learning Centres provide both student and faculty support in learning. I wonder how that circle of feedback changes the learning opportunities, and what impact it has on the T&L staff. Is that a better way of participating in the larger loop of teaching and learning?
I would be pleased to send you a copy of the summary when it is done. I am hoping it can be the basis for ongoing contributions and a summary that is sent out maybe twice a year to everyone who contributes.
I have your email address and will send it to you. Anyone else want a copy?
I am not sure if I would be able to post it to this site after our online seminar is officially over, so anyone/everyone can see it. Vivian?