Action Learning project

by Rossana Espinoza 0

North West Cross Institutional Action Learning project


The release of the April News Pad gave us an opportunity to touch base with colleagues who are part of the North West Cross Institutional Action Learning project team. The funded part of the project is coming to an end and they have been very busy with cohort 2 delivery, ongoing evaluation and dissemination activities.


A major output from the project has been the Good Practice Guide entitled ACTION. This guide was produced by the North West Cross Institutional Action Learning Project Team and was funded by the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education. The Good Practice Guide is made available via the ISSUU website.


ACTION aims at supporting Organisational and Staff Developers in Higher Education, who are looking to set up a university wide or cross institutional initiative. It was developed as a result of the successful and collaborative action learning programme designed and delivered by a group of universities in the North West of England.


The North West Cross Institutional Action Learning project team is formed by colleagues (see photographs below) from University of Liverpool, Liverpool John Moores University, University of Cumbria, The University of Manchester, University of Chester, UCLAN, Lancaster University, Swansea University and the University of Huddersfield.



The intention of the project team was to produce something different, that is accessible, interactive and engaging, hence the idea of designing ACTION to be viewed online. This guide explains the methodology of action learning and offers templates to enable individuals running their own action learning project.


ACTION provides the main detail but relies on a range of external links to support the content. In this fashion, the guide provides a collection of useful advice, techniques and downloadable resources for anyone wanting to set up and run an action learning programme. The guide is also available in PDF format for those who request it.


In regards to current take up of the action learning approach amongst HE institutions, the North East Region Universities, led by Christopher Pickard from Leeds University, have now implemented the approach. The project team expects to be able to disseminate further information on the take up and further implementation later in the year.


The project team is holding a mini conference on 19th May, to disseminate the action learning approach and project outcomes, with representation from Organisational and Staff Developers in Higher Education and Aurora leads from universities across the UK. The team has specifically invited those who want to set up a similar initiative.


Now there are only a few places available out of the initial 30 available free places to attend the mini-conference, which promises to be an inspiring and exciting opportunity to learn more about this approach and nurture partnerships with other colleagues and institutions. Printed copies of the guide will be disseminated at the mini conference.


The project team has received lots of positive feedback via email, which is being collated by Tracy Ellis and which will be made available in a further update.


Congratulations to the North West Cross Institutional Action Learning project team who have produced outputs of excellent quality and which are useful to illustrate and share how the methodology works in practice: ACTION, The Good Practice Guide, a fantastic project website and videos on the application of the methodology.




Kindest regards


Dr. Rossana Espinoza
SDF Communications officer