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Community-Engaged Learning Projects

Community-Engaged Learning Projects 2020/21

Community-Engaged Learning Projects 2020/21

The Exeter Education Incubator exists to support education innovation across the University. In November, we announced the ‘Community Engaged Learning’ small grants. These are part-funded by the Erasmus+ project Communities and Students Together (CaST), which aims to develop innovative engaged learning programmes across six European partner institutions 

The panel met on 21st December 2020 to discuss the projects and decide those that would be funded in this project call. They agreed to fund three projects led by the following teams, and supported by the Education Incubator:

Community-Engaged Learning combines academic teaching and research with social commitment. The term encompasses a wide range of methods and programmes where Higher Education Institutions try to meet the needs of both their students and community partners. Students extend and deepen their university learning by participating in contexts outside of their HEI. Community partners should benefit from the partnership with students and the University. Both groups work together to address societal concerns, challenges or needs while producing knowledge in an equitable way. 

Using this approach means that education innovations are more authentically embedded in their context. Something can be an innovation because it has not been tried in a particular context, independent of whether it is done elsewhere. The value of any innovation rests on the case made for trying it in your context, though the case for an innovation is strengthened if you can demonstrate an understanding of what can be learned from other contexts. To learn more about the wider CaST project, click here.

The projects offer teams the opportunity to take part in events and conferences run as part of the wider CaST project to share learning with the following European partners:

  • Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg (Germany) 

  • Università degli Studi di Parma (Italy) 

  • Universidad de Málaga (Spain) 

  • Universiteit Gent (Belgium)  

  • Turun Yliopisto (Finland) 

  • University of Exeter

You can learn more about the current community-engaged learning projects by clicking here, or reading on below:

Olya Petrakova-Brown

This project will develop and deliver a community-engaged event consisting of a series of experiential activities to promote a deep consideration of compassion in a post-Covid world by using play and playfulness. This project will be developed with students, community-led organisations, and local residents. Some of MayFest activities will include online pre-event sessions to engage with the participant/attendees beforehand and develop a feeling of belonging through group activities, an interactive theatre-based scavenger hunt, an engagement with Secret Agent of Compassion challenges (aiming at recognising and bringing kindness to everyday life), participation in discussions in speaker-led sessions, and more.
Our three-strand approach: (1) Technology, (2) Pedagogy, and (3) Change Knowledge, will provoke out attendees to develop the skills and attributes they need to thrive and be compassionate in a changing world. The impact of our project will be made visible by collectively creating a ‘People Thinking Wall’ by the participants before and after activities, inspired by Hakuhodo Studio in Japan. This will represent the individual and collective change in perception, skills and knowledge about compassion.

Francesco Goglia

This pilot project will test an innovative bi-directional method of teaching and learning Multilingualism. Students of Modern Languages and Cultures at Exeter will be involved in creating and deploying teaching activities for students of Rokeby School in East London, a highly multicultural and multilingual secondary school. Students of Rokeby School will learn more about the study of languages in Higher Education and the importance of multilingualism for future career prospects. They will also be involved in creative activities such as producing vignettes and surveying the linguistic landscape of their school and borough, to explain their experiences of multilingualism to Exeter students. 

Fabrizio Nevola, David Rosenthal, and Kate Osborne

This project builds on the public-facing geolocated historical audio guide, Hidden Exeter (AppStore and GooglePlay). Involving students at the University of Exeter and volunteers at St Nicholas’ Priory, Exeter and facilitated by researchers from the Hidden Cities research project, it will deliver a community-engaged, co-produced new trail within the app.  The eleventh-century St Nicholas’ Priory is the city’s oldest standing building. In the custody of Exeter Historic Buildings Trust, with the support of major funding from National Lottery Heritage Fund and the UK Government’s Cultural Recovery Fund, it is under development as an Arts, Cultural and Heritage Hub for the city and its communities. The project will offer an innovative skills-based learning opportunity, creating valuable new digital interpretation for St Nicholas’ Priory, while providing an example of knowledge transfer between the expert community of local researchers and the University.  

To learn more about these projects, or if you have any questions about future funding opportunities, please email the Incubator on