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The University Campus as Learning Resource

The Higher Education Academy (HEA) has awarded the Department of Humanities a Teaching Development Grant for ‘Using the University Campus as a Learning Resource in the Humanities’.

Funding was awarded for 18 months, allowing staff and students from the Classical Civilisation and History programmes to create ‘The Roehampton Campus Project’ - a second-year undergraduate project-based module that investigates new forms of learning, teaching and presenting research.

Campus Project database interface

The module has now enjoyed its first semester. The Roehampton campus itself has been the focus. Students have learned about classical reception through visits to the neo-classical splendours of Parkstead House, Mount Clare, and Grove House.  They have learned about Georgian society through discovering former Roehampton residents, the Dukes of Bessborough, the merchant Vanneck family, the banking Goldsmids, and the outrageous Lyne Stephens.  They have studied the radical history of early years education at Roehampton, explored college archives, and met college chaplains to learn the role of religious communities in the founding and continuing work of the colleges.

In the second semester, the students will choose an aspect of the campus to research in detail, and then communicate their results to an audience from the wider community, choosing the most appropriate form in which to present.  This could include, for example, the creation of online resources, a photo exhibition, a community engagement project with school groups, churches, local interest groups, or local artists, a video installation, or poster presentations.

A specially created database of Roehampton has been created to inform the students’ research and to share the campus’ fascinating history and culture more broadly. Explore it yourself.

The project is led by Dr Charlotte Behr, Reader in Roman and Early Medieval History and project managed by Dr Sonya Nevin, Research Fellow in the Department of Humanities.

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Student Involvement

In-line with Roehampton’s ethos of treating students as partners, emphasis is on student involvement in planning and evaluating the module. During the spring term 2014 student focus groups contributed to the development of the module.

A student project officer, Anna Browne, has been instrumental to the project as a whole. Her role includes assisting in identifying possible student projects, researching possible community partners, and helping to develop the project database.

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Community Involvement

It is our intention that, through this module, the local community will enjoy greater insight into Roehampton’s beautiful campus - its fascinating history, varied features, and friendly hard-working students.

In spring 2015, we will be contacting various organisations in the local area to invite them to participate in the project, visit the campus, and hear more about what the students have researched and discovered. Online projects will also be made freely available to the public through this webpage.

Sharing Results

Once the project is completed, we will be sharing the results to help other universities introduce campus learning projects. We will be creating a set of resources that will make it easy for other universities to implement. These will be available online through the Higher Education Academy (HEA) website and through this webpage. We will also be sharing our ideas through conference presentations and a research publication.

This page is frequently updated, so please visit again for further news and developments.