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Learning Circle Guidelines

The intention of learning circles are to help WIHEA fellows develop expertise in an area that either explores new opportunities or tackles current challenges faced by Warwick and/or other higher education institutions across the world. Through discussion within these circles and sharing this with the WIHEA fellows, we can then disseminate examples and methods for best practice with the wider international network of academics.

As a WIHEA fellow if you have an idea for a new learning circle, in the first instance, please email Gwen van der Velden to discuss and for approval.

Please find below some practical guidance and information on what is involved as a learning circle lead/co-lead, should your learning circle be approved.

Learning Circle Lead(s) Responsibilities:

As well as planning and organising meetings, all communication with the circle members about dates/times of each meeting is the responsibility of the learning circle lead or co-leads (if you choose to have more than one lead). Before proposing a learning circle it would be worth considering that we ask for a minimum of three meeting dates each term to be organised and for learning circle leads/co-leads to attend WIHEA Fellows Lunches to share updates from meetings.

Learning Circle Members:

Members should be a WIHEA Fellow. Alumni Fellows may indicate to the Academic Director their interest in becoming/or remaining a member, but participation will then depend on an invitation by the Circle’s Co-Lead Fellows. Should you wish to involve staff or students that are not WIHEA Fellows or Alumni, this will need to be approved by the Academic Director. Therefore, any Alumni or other staff/students wishing to join a learning circle should email us directly in the first instance.

Please let us know of all requests to join the learning circle, so they can be added to the outlook calendar and an up to date list of overall members can be kept.

Communicating With Members:

In order to best manage communications with members you will receive an outlook address list with the list of names and email addresses. Therefore, when communicating with members over email you will need to send this to the group by typing in the address list name to the Send to box. If anyone has or leaves/joins the circle in future, please let us know swiftly so that we can add/remove them accordingly.

Arranging Meetings:

The dates of all learning circles are listed on our news and events web page so it is worth checking this list when trying to identify dates for circle meetings (to avoid clashes where possible). However, in addition to communicating directly with members, we also encourage Leads to put the dates of meetings on the individual Learning Circle web page. It is also useful to have a registration form on the web page for members to show their availability – our WIHEA Project Officer can help with this.

We are pleased to confirm we now have a WIHEA meeting room (SH2.19) here in Senate House on the second floor which can be booked for learning circle meetings through us. Please note SH2.19 currently holds 16 (18 at a squeeze).  

Refreshments For Meetings:

As most learning circle meetings will now be held in the WIHEA meeting room (SH2.19), tea/coffee etc. are available for you and your members to help yourselves to, from the kitchen next door. Please advise members to help themselves to the water machine and provisions in the cupboard labelled ‘WIHEA Learning Circles’, also milk (labelled WIHEA) is in the first fridge (first door). We would ask that all drinks are made in the kitchen using the disposable cups provided and whilst free to take them into the meeting room, please ensure the cups and all rubbish are removed from the room at the end of the meeting.

Learning Circle Webpages:

Finally, due to the number of Learning Circles that we have, to enable us to keep Fellows up to date with recent progress, we ask that learning circle web pages are kept up to date. After your learning circle has been approved, a web page will be created for you by our project officer. The lead(s) will receive editing rights to this page, including information about who the circle is intended for and what will be/has been discussed.

Sharing Progress:

We allocate 3 minute slots at Fellows Lunches to individual learning circles, where there has been specific progress made or outcomes achieved in relation to the circle’s overall plan.

There will also be opportunities in the future during a Fellows Lunch for Learning Circles to deliver an hour long ‘Policy or Guidance Development/Productive Writing Session’, where the circle can involve the wider group of Fellows in discussing, contributing to or sharing information relating to specific outputs.