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Community Engaged Learning: collaborations with external partners in the curriculum

New pilot service to support UCL staff to embed collaborations with local and global community organisations into their teaching.

UCL is developing a new service that will help academic staff bring collaborations with external partners into their programmes.

Such 'community engaged learning' (working term) is a characteristic of the Connected Curriculum, UCL's framework for research based education.

Supporting dimension three of the Connected Curriculum: 'students make connections across subjects and out to the world'.

Collaborating with local and global community organisations as part of their UCL programmes and bringing their interests into the classroom gives students more opportunities to:

  • solve problems and apply knowledge and skills to authentic situations
  • understand the challenges and opportunities they will face as future practitioners
  • understand how it is to work with their future partners or clients.

Students can work on practical or research projects with external partners as part of teaching and assessment. These external partners can be local and/or global communities that best meet the learning outcomes of the programme or module. 

What will the Community Engaged Learning service look like?

The Community Engaged Learning service is being developed in collaboration with UCL Arena, UCL Culture, UCL East and UCL academic staff.

It will advise and support programme, module leaders and staff with teaching responsibilities, adopting a tailored approach to the needs of the different disciplines, including

  • Designing teaching and learning activities with local and/or global communities for students to make connections across subjects and out to the world
  • Designing outward facing outputs in collaboration with local and/or global communities
  • Designing new programmes/review existing programmes or modules to include collaboration with local and/or global communities through resources and “ABC Learning Design” type workshops
  • Submitting evidence under UCL Academic Career Framework for their career progression (under Public Engagement)

The service will partner with other professional services to offer support with:

  • Brokering between the programme and the external partner(s)
  • Identifying volunteering opportunities
  • Developing teaching activities with UCL museums and collections and other public art projects
  • Identifying and applying for funding for community/public engagement projects

    There are already pockets of excellent community engagement practice in the curriculum across UCL and interest from academic staff to work with community partners as part of their teaching. 

    Who is the new service for?

    • UCL programme/module leaders who already engage with external partners as part of their teaching 
    • UCL programme/module leaders who are interested in engaging with external partners as part of their teaching
    • UCL programme leaders who are currently developing a new programme and are interested in engaging external partners.

    For any questions, please contact Marie Xypaki, Curriculum and Public Engagement Consultant marie.xypaki@ucl.ac.uk