Sharing Ideas and Practice in Higher Education There is a substantial literature on teaching and learning in Higher Education. The majority of this literature is student facing, focusing on the student learning experience. There is also a strand in the literature which examines teaching and learning from the tutor perspective, looking at the experience of teaching in Higher Education. In both student and tutor facing approaches, the aim is to facilitate and enhance teaching and learning and tutor facing approaches emphasise in particular the contribution of staff communication and reflection in improving teaching and learning. Tutor facing approaches include Scholarship in Teaching and Learning, Communities of Practice and Disciplinary Commons. This paper discusses the experience of a School of Computing Commons (School Commons) developed in the School of Computing in a UK university. The School Commons was inspired by the Disciplinary Commons approach but also draws on the Scholarship for Teaching and Learning and Communities of Practice approaches. Elements from these three approaches were used to develop a model which brought together teaching staff from the different disciplines in the School of Computing, creating a forum in which to share practice and expertise. The main focus of the School Commons was on process, providing space for reflection and facilitating communication and the exchange of ideas. However, the School Commons also facilitated a bottom up approach to staff development, allowing staff to feed ideas and expectations into the university framework. The paper describes the motivation for the development of the School Commons, the process of establishing the School Commons and the way in which it was structured. The operation of the School Commons is reviewed and the effectiveness and value of this type of approach in terms of contribution to teaching and learning is critically evaluated. The outcomes from the project are discussed and the paper makes a number of suggestions for building on the achievements of the School Commons and future development
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