Research Output
Designing Learning Communities for All – An Overview of the QAA ‘Belonging’ Enhancement Mini Projects
  This presentation will provide the audience with an overview of the QAA ‘belonging’ enhancement mini-projects that have been undertaken across the University since the launch of the theme in 2017. This strand of the current QAA enhancement theme seeks to impact on student experience by (a) enhancing the breadth of voices and valued ‘learning communities’ that are understood and recognised (b) support staff to better tailor learning and student support to meet the needs of diverse students (c) support staff and students to build relevant and impactful learning communities within and across programmes.

After a brief introduction to the completed mini-projects, the presentation will focus on two of those projects – highlighting the challenges/decisions that have to be made when designing learning experiences suitable for all. The first mini project outlined is the Big Read, a shared reading scheme that began at Edinburgh Napier University in 2016. We will reveal how the scheme has sought to bond and galvanise groups of students/staff across diverse disciplines and campuses through shared action and the joy of a great book. The second mini project discussed explored how to create a sense of belonging for online students, highlighting the kinds of activities/support students need to feel connected when studying online. The presentation ends with an update on the current set of mini-projects and highlights further opportunities for the audience to engage with the current enhancement theme.

Key literature
Spanierman, L.B. et al. (2013). Living Learning Communities and Students’ Sense of Community and Belonging. Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice, 50(3), pp308-325.

  • Type:

    Conference Paper (unpublished)

  • Date:

    20 June 2019

  • Publication Status:


  • Funders:

    Edinburgh Napier Funded


Gray, A., Brodie, J., & Haddow, C. (2019, June). Designing Learning Communities for All – An Overview of the QAA ‘Belonging’ Enhancement Mini Projects. Paper presented at Learning & Teaching Conference, 2019, Edinburgh



Learning, Teaching, Publishing, Napier Big Read

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