"The word ‘community’ is derived from Old French comuneté, from Latin communitas, communis, things held in common" ~ Oxford Dictionaries (2014)
What does it take to make a community? A common interest, obviously. People sharing a common interest naturally come together and share information and experiences. The recently launched ‘Wise Assessment’ Community of Practice Project at HKU is a notable example. Assessment and feedback are intertwined; assessment without feedback does very little to support student learning. Assessment and feedback is such a genuine and universal concern that the project briefings shall be useful and relevant to every teacher. A wise initiative, the project not only enables colleagues to cross boundaries between disciplines; it also facilitates the long overdue interplay between the Common Core and the disciplinary curricula (Common Core being featured in one of the project briefings). Who are the players in a learning community anyway? To cultivate a truly vibrant learning environment, we should do more than reflecting on our own courses. There should be channels for teachers (both full-time and part-time) to communicate and collaborate with each other and with colleagues who contribute to co-curriculum development, technological support, student surveys and quality enhancement. It would be great if we could include everyone and talk to everyone. Break the ice and break the boundaries. Most important of all, we should include the students, the stakeholders, in our feedback loop. We hear their voice, we discuss issues among ourselves, and we must not forget to inform them of the steps we take to address their concerns. Justice must be seen to be done. Quality enhancement too. Written by Alice Lee, guest blog for the first issue of "Teaching and Learning Connections" a new e-newsletter published by HKU's Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning (CETL).