Developing a vision of a sustainable community
University Strategic Plans provide the institutional context for situating learning and teaching goals alongside research, community engagement, staff, students, and international outlook, and business and enterprise. This paper describes a developing vision and three key implementation strategies to focus on innovation in learning and teaching. the trigger for its development was provided by the Carrick Institute's Excellence Initiative funding. Formulation of the grant application crystallised an analysis of current gaps in support for staff wishing to engage with Award, Grant and Fellowship opportunities at the institutional and national level.The aim of the the Promoting Excellence Initiative (PEI) at the University of Wollongong is to develop a sustainable community with a passion for learning and teaching innovation, and the means to achieve their goals. the three key strategies identified as a starting point for engaging a larger community of practice in progressing the vision are a distributed network of learning and teaching mentors, enhanced systems for recording and sharing practice, and an evolving program of practice celebrations.The authors have analysed and reflected on the seemingly rapid progress of gap analysis and strategy formulation that has, in reality taken three years; numerous opportunities for collaboration with a large number of university staff; and a significant intellectual and time commitment by a core team in the Excellence, Diversity and Innovation in Teaching Subcommittee (EDITS) of the University Education Committee. The critical tensions between formal and informal opportunities for collaboration are highlighted.
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