Building a community behind Bridges objectives across the University was an important aspect of the Bridges CETL’s work. This section covers some aspects of this community building.
Centre for Recording Achievements (CRA) is a national network organisation and a registered educational charity. It seeks to ‘promote the awareness of recording achievement and action planning processes as an important element in improving learning and progression throughout the world of education, training and employment’. Bridges co-operated with the Centre through various projects and events organisation. Bridges was one of the sponsors of the International CRA Symposium on Researching and Evaluating PDP and e-Portfolio Practice and many Bridges staff presented.
Bridges worked very closely with the Centre for Personal and Career Development (now called Careers and Recruitment Service). The Careers Team has worked with academic departments to develop innovative and stimulating approaches to embedding employability within the CRe8 curriculum. Careers Advisers used the 'SOARing to Success' approaches in their practice and with the help from Bridges staff they developed an employability resource for students called MySuccess. Staff from CPCD became involved in and contributed to the Employability strand development, various Bridges projects, resources and events. Who is the Bigger Fish? Competition, U CRe8 Club workshops, Flux Competition, 'First Impressions Count' DVD, Employability Strategy and Employability Fellow Projects are just few to name. You can learn more about the CPCD activities on their website.
Bridges and the T&L Directorate set up the CRe8 Wiki, an interactive website, to enable support and academic staff to share and discuss evidenced examples of their T&L practice. The wiki aims to create a 'community of practice' around delivering the CRe8 agenda. The CRe8 Wiki can be accessed via BREO or via the T&L Directorate website.
Over the last three years, the University of Bedfordshire has been part of a group of Higher Education institutions involved in research and development projects evaluating the use of The Effective Lifelong Learning Inventory (ELLI) to assess students’ learning power in a Higher Education setting.
The group has been a peer-supported community of staff from across the University of Bedfordshire for discussing PDP and e-PDP topics. The focus of their work has been around e-portfolios and their implementation.
The Junior Research Institute (jRI) is an extension of the existing research community across the University. The jRI initiative was born as a result of the work the T&L Directorate has been doing in the area of Research Informed Teaching (RiT). jRI engages students as partners into the wider university community and brings many benefits to them. There is a synergy between jRI and Bridges aims. Being involved in jRI, students better understand what the research community at an university is about and that students are valuable members within it.
National Action Research Network on Researching and Evaluating Personal Development Planning and e-Portfolio is a NTFS project, in which Bridges has been involved at national, regional leadership level, and institutionally through the Action Research Consortium.
Research into Pedagogic Enhanced Network (RIPEN) fostered pedagogic research and evaluation by providing mutual support, feedback, presentation and networking opportunities around pedagogic research.
T & L Directorate and the Bridges teams worked closely together over the whole existence of Bridges CETL and organised various T&L workshops and annual T&L symposia. For more information on the University's T&L work visit the T&L Directorate website.
Bridges supported the organisation of two writing retreats for staff from across the University held in 2009 and 2010. The aim of the retreats was to provide an opportunity for staff development and to support staff with their research or project writing in a peer-supported environment. Also Bridges wanted to reward staff who had actively contributed to the learning developments at the University.