Just over two years ago I was asked to take on the role of Academic Lead for eLearning within the School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering at The University of Manchester. We are a large school (120 academic staff) covering a number of engineering and management disciplines. In common with many academic departments, this has resulted in a somewhat silo mentality; long, often deserted corridors, and staff only communicating with their immediate research and teaching colleagues. My sense at that time was that there was plenty of eLearning expertise within the School, but that this expertise existed in small pockets of excellence, which were isolated and often unaware of each other.
If this sounds like a familiar picture, then read the story of how we used a Community Practice to connect, encourage and strengthen our eLearning practices within the School, which has just been published on the Higher Education Academy Learning and Teaching Blog – Putting the Community into eLearning